Professor Donna Panderos
November 22, 2008
The Waraos, whose name means “Canoe people” in their language, are one of the oldest living Indians, and the second largest indigenous tribe in the country of Venezuela. They are native inhabitants of the Delta Orinoco River and family groups reside in palafitos (huts on stilts) which are located along the banks of the River. The waraos are known for spending their daily lives in curiaras (canoes) fishing and hunting in the nearby forest. Their medium height and strong body makes it easier for them to survive during hunting seasons in the rain forest. The warao women are usually shorter than the men and have fine dark long hair, and the men are generally beardless with fine dark hair as well. Since they mainly live on the water, they have no need for excessive clothing, some of them are still wearing ‘guayuco’ a cover up piece made of curagua palm fibers, and some of them wear a piece of cloth measuring between 12 to 15 cm, placed between their legs which looks like an apron. The women generally wear skirts only, but if in contact with outsiders, they must wear shirts or a top cover piece which is required by the state of Delta Amacuro. All women decorate themselves with colored fathers, as well as fibers from curagua palm, and their arms and legs are always decorated with well tight bracelets. (wikipedia.org/wiki/Warao) The waraos are fine crafters; they build curiaras (canoes) from tree trunks; which are carefully carved and later burned in the inside in order to open the wood from inside out and to stretch it sides as well. The process of canoes making is very long and it requires a lot of attention, such a process can take several days especially during rainy days. The waraos also build their palafitos (huts on stilts) which usually have an attached roof but not walls, they also make great necklaces, baskets and hammocks from the leaves and seeds of the Moriches palm also know as...