, also called Ye'Kuana, Yekuana, Yequana, Yecuana, Dekuana, Maquiritare, Makiritare, So'to
, are a Cariban-speaking tropical rain forest tribe who live in the Caura River
The Caura is a tributary of the Orinoco River, located in Bolívar State in Venezuela. Its flow is the second after the Caroni River among the affluents of the Orinoco River, with almost 3.000 m³/s....
and Orinoco River regions of Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...
in Bolivar State and Amazonas State
Amazonas State is one of the 23 states into which Venezuela is divided.The state capital is Puerto Ayacucho. The capital until the early 1900s was San Fernando de Atabapo. Although named after the Amazon River, most of the state is drained by the Orinoco. Amazonas State covers a total surface...
. In Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...
, they inhabit the northeast of Roraima
Roraima is the northernmost and least populated state of Brazil, located in the Amazon region. It borders the states of Amazonas and Pará, as well as the nations of Venezuela and Guyana. The population is 400,000 and the capital is Boa Vista...
In Venezuela, the Ye'kuana live alongside the Sanumá
The Sanum, also referred to as Sanema, Sanima Tsanuma, Guaika, Samatari, Samatali, Xamatari and Chirichano in the literature, are a South American tropical rain forest tribe related to the Yanomami. They number about 1500 and live on both sides of the border of Brazil and Venezuela...
The first reference to the Ye'kuana was in 1744 by a Jesuit priest called Manuel Román.
There are some 6,250 Ye'kuana in Venezuela, according to the 2001 census, with some 430 in Brazil.
Jean Liedloff was an American author, born in New York, and best known for her 1975 book The Continuum Concept....
came into contact with the Ye'kuana during a diamond hunting trip. She based her book The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost
on their way of life, particularly the upbringing of their children. The infants are normally in 'skin contact' 24 hours a day with their mother or with other women who take care of them
- David. M. Guss: "To Weave and Sing: Art, Symbol, and Narrative in the South American Rainforest" (University of California Press, 1990)
- Jean Liedoff: "The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost" ISBN 0-201-05071-4