The Waorani (or Huaorani) are one of the Ecuadorian indigenous nationalities living in the Ecuadorian Amazon. A valuable ethnic group that has maintained its traditional culture and way of life, despite many external threats, such as the expansion of oil activity in their territories and colonization.
Although the term “Aucas” (which in Quechua means “barbarian or savage”) to call a derogatory manner, wao expression actually translates as “people” or the “human” was used in the past.
The ancestral territory is located between huaroanis Curaray and Napo rivers, 80 km south of the community of Dureno, in an area of 30 thousand square kilometers, approximately. There, this group has lived for hundreds of years, in perfect communion with the environment.
Traditionally known as skilled hunters and courageous warriors, members of this indigenous nationality have a close and deep spiritual relationship with the forest, which they consider their home. In the worldview of the huaos, there is no difference between the physical and the spiritual, then the spirits are present in the earth among men. They therefore consider that the forest is a safe place, where they are protected from spells and attacks, while the outside world is full of threats.
His jungle home in that world and they reign. But do so in a respectful and sustainable way, which allowed conserve the forest for centuries. For the Huaorani, each animal has a spirit. Therefore, they respected as equals, and the only advantage for survival. Although hunting is the basis of livelihood of this group, no Huaroani kills an animal for fun or “tradition.” In fact, to compensate for the offense of hunting, they dart they use are prepared in a ritual, by the shamans.
Legend has it that the Huaorani are descended from a union between a jaguar and an eagle. So they never hunt these animals. Nor kill snakes, it brings bad omens. They just hunt for survival, monkeys, birds and peccaries, collared peccaries or also known as peccaries.
The same relationship of respect keep it with plants, especially trees. In the jungle, the Waorani find everything they need to live healthy and in harmony. Therefore it is said that the forest is a kind of natural pharmacy for them. The botanical knowledge of these Indians are very large and have been passed down from generation to generation. Plants provide them drugs, hallucinogens and poison for hunting. There are species that serve to make their spears and blowguns; others use them for ceremonial purposes.
Originally a nomadic group, the Huaorani now live in settled communities, whose subsistence activity is tied to the planting of orchards, hunting, fishing and gathering fruit. They live in extended families under one roof (the “longhouse” call). These families are organized around an old man or old woman, considered the wisest.
Knowing the everyday, everyday activities, parties Huaorani, where men and women celebrate life singing and dancing for days, is an amazing experience. SURTEK offers you the chance to see closely this life and be part of it for a few days. Five cabins traditionally built with thatched roofs greet visitors at the Huaorani Ecolodge, Quehueri’ono in the community, within the Yasuni National Park.
With the basic to the experience cozy and quiet comfort, this is the place to participate in the life of huaroanis unique community living harmoniously in the heart of his huge house place: the forest.