South Americaother subsistence combinations

expand_more Description

The Pumé speak a distinctive language and live in discrete, permanent settlements on the open plains or along the major rivers of the western Orinoco river basin of southwestern Venezuela. Extensive flooding during the wet season forces some villages to relocate temporarily. Staples include fish, manioc and maize. Villages are politically autonomous, each having a headman who holds minimal authority. Shamans act as guardians of ancestral spirits and preside over curing ceremonies. The earliest recorded contact with the Pumé by Spanish explorers occurred in 1589 and the first Catholic mission was established in 1739. The development of cattle ranches in the region beginning in the 1930s has had a significant impact on Pumé economy and society.

  • South America
  • Amazon and Orinoco
Subsistence Type
  • other subsistence combinations
  • Venezuela
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