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The Akawaio are an indigenous people who live in Roraima (Brazil), Guyana, and Venezuela.[1]

Total population
Regions with significant populations

They are one of several closely related peoples called Ingarikó and Kapon.

The Akawaio is an ethnic group who lives between Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil, in South America. Akawaio is also a language used by 5,000 to 6,000 speakers.[2]


Akawaios have polytheistic beliefs. Mythological figures like Makunaima, Kanaima, Iwarrika and Sigu are an important part of their culture. The most important god is Makunaima because, in their opinion, he created the tribe. Furthermore, they associate some natural phenomena to some divinities like Iwarrika who is blamed for flooding the earth. The Shaman plays an important part in their religious practice. He meets the god during hallucinogenic rituals when tobacco and a specific diet are used.


To be self-sufficient, the Akawaio people grow banana, yams, raw cane sugar, taro, cotton, calabash… However, they don't exclusively feed on plants, they also hunt deer, peccary, tapirs, agoutis or pacas. For hunting, they traditionally use blowpipes or bows and arrows but nowadays they also use guns. They make a lot of different alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks.



The community makes trade with other groups. They swap quivers or other productions for clothes, fruits and weapons.


Work in the Akawaio community is gender-based. Women work in weaving, pottery and house keeping. Meanwhile, men tend to devote to hunting or peddling.

Education and mentalitiesEdit

The tribe of Akawaio has a particular educational model based on non-violence and respect. Akawaio focus on dialogue and separating rivals during disagreements.


Sharing is a central value. Indeed, in the village, no one has more property than the other members of the community.


  1. ^ a b Ingarikó :: Indigenous Peoples in Brazil :: ISA
  2. ^ "Akawaio-English Dictionary and English-Akawaio Index". SIL International. 2014-12-09. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  3. ^ "Akawaio Language and the Akawaio Indian Tribe (Akawayo, Kapon, Kapong, Waika)". Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  4. ^ caroleone. "Guyana /Venezuela/Brésil - Le peuple Akawaio". coco Magnanville (in French). Retrieved 2019-06-21.