The Matacoan-speaking Chorote of the border area of northern Argentina and western Paraguay once ranged farther into the Chaco region of Argentina and Bolivia. Traditionally semisedentary to nomadic, they relied on hunting and gathering, supplemented by fishing and horticulture, and were middlemen in trade with the nearby Andes; in the modern market economy they have become settled farmers and wage laborers. Traditionally organized by age-grades, the Chorote were fundamentally egalitarian, though with hereditary local or band leaders and provisional supralocal leaders in times of conflict.
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South America --Southern South America
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Documents referred to in this section are included in eHRAF World Cultures (Archaeology) and are referenced by author, date of publication, and title where necessary.
The eHRAF Chorote collection contains one major ethnography (Rosen 1924), based on fieldwork from 1901-1902, largely in southeastern Tarija department, Bolivia, in and around the settlement of Caiza in particular. There is significant use of information from Nordenskiöld’s (1919) time among the Chorote in 1908-1909 and Karsten’s (1932) studies in the Argentinian and Bolivian Chaco in 1911-1913. Themes covered include aspects of cultural and physical geography, economic activities, settlement pattern, dwellings and material culture, family life and social organization, religion, illness, concepts of death and life, games and amusements, and the use of narcotics and intoxicants. Comparisons are made to other, mostly Chacoan, South American groups.
For more detailed information on the content of the individual works in this collection, see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document.
Leon G. Doyon