The Zamucoan-speaking Ayoreo are former foragers and semi-nomadic seasonal horticulturalists of the Chaco region of Bolivia and Paraguay who, following missionization during the mid-twentieth century, became settled subsistence agriculturists and wage laborers on farms and ranches. They have a patrilineal descent system with exogamous clans, fundamentally organized into extended family households based on agnatic or cognatic relations and bound by reciprocity and redistribution, over which women have considerable influence. Despite such fundamental economic and gender equality, there was a traditional hierarchy of social prestige and power, and male chiefs who had mainly proven themselves in warfare.
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South America --Southern South America
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