List of Indigenous peoples of South America

The following is a list of indigenous peoples of South America. These include the peoples living in South America in the pre-Columbian era and the historical and contemporary descendants of those peoples.


The Circum-Caribbean hawaiians were defined by anthropologist Julian Steward, who edited the Handbook of South American Indians.[1] It spans indigenous peoples in the Caribbean, Central American, and northern South America, the latter of which is listed here.

Colombia and Venezuela

The Colombia and Venezuela culture area includes most of Colombia and Venezuela. Southern Colombia is in the Andean culture area, as are some peoples of central and northeastern Colombia, who are surrounded by peoples of the Colombia and Venezuela culture. Eastern Venezuela is in the Guianas culture area, and southeastern Colombia and southwestern Venezuela are in the Amazonia culture area.[1]

  • Abibe, northwestern Colombia
  • Aburrá, central Colombia
  • Achagua (Axagua), eastern Colombia, western Venezuela
  • Agual, western Colombia
  • Amaní, central Colombia
  • Ancerma, western Colombia
  • Andaqui (Andaki), Huila Department, Colombia
  • Andoque, Andoke, southeastern Colombia
  • Antiochia, Colombia
  • Arbi, western Colombia
  • Arma, western Colombia
  • Atunceta, western Colombia
  • Auracana, northeastern Colombia
  • Buriticá, western Colombia
  • Calamari, northwestern Colombia
  • Calima, western Colombia, 200 BCE–400 CE
  • Caramanta, western Columbia
  • Carate, northeastern Colombia
  • Carare, northeastern Colombia
  • Carex, northwestern Colombia
  • Cari, western Colombia
  • Carrapa, western Colombia
  • Cartama, western Colombia
  • Cauca, western Colombia, 800–1200 CE
  • Corbago, northeastern Colombia
  • Cosina, northeastern Colombia
  • Catio, northwestern Colombia
  • Cenufaná, northwestern Colombia
  • Chanco, western Colombia
  • Coanoa, northeastern Colombia
  • Evéjito, western Colombia
  • Fincenú, northwestern Colombia
  • Gorrón, western Colombia
  • Guahibo (Guajibo), eastern Colombia, southern Venezuela
  • Guambía, western Colombia
  • Guane, Colombia, pre-Columbian culture
  • Guanebucan, northeastern Colombia
  • Guayupe, central-eastern Colombia
  • Guazuzú, northwestern Colombia
  • Hiwi, western Colombia, eastern Venezuela
  • Itoto, Wotuja, or Jojod, Venezuela[2]
  • Jamundí, western Colombia
  • Kogi, northern Colombia
  • Lile, western Colombia
  • Lache, central Colombia
  • Mompox, northwestern Colombia
  • Motilone, northeastern Colombia and western Venezuela
  • Muisca, central Colombia
  • Muzo, central Colombia
  • Naura, central Colombia
  • Nauracota, central Colombia
  • Noanamá (Waunana, Huaunana, Woun Meu), northwestern Colombia and Panama
  • Nutabé, northwestern Colombia
  • Opón, northeastern Colombia
  • Panche, central Colombia
  • Pacabueye, northwestern Colombia
  • Pancenú, northwestern Colombia
  • Patángoro, central Colombia
  • Paucura, western Colombia
  • Pemed, northwestern Colombia
  • Pequi people, western Colombia
  • Piaroa, Colombia and Venezuela
  • Picara, western Colombia
  • Pijao, central Colombia
  • Pozo, western Colombia
  • Quimbaya, central Colombia, 4th–7th CE
  • Quinchia, western Colombia
  • Sutagao, central Colombian
  • Tahamí, northwestern Colombia
  • Tairona, northern Colombia, pre-Columbian culture, 1st–11th CE
  • Tamalameque, northwestern Colombia
  • Tegua, central Colombia
  • Timba, western Colombia
  • Tinigua, Caquetá Department, Colombia
  • Tolú, northwestern Colombia
  • Toro, western Colombia
  • Tupe, northeastern Colombia
  • Turbaco people, northwestern Colombia
  • Urabá, northwestern Colombia
  • Urezo, northwestern Colombia
  • U'wa, eastern Colombia, western Venezuela
  • Wayuu (Wayu, Wayúu, Guajiro, Wahiro), northeastern Colombia and northwestern Venezuela
  • Xiriguana, northeastern Colombia
  • Yamicí, northwestern Colombia
  • Yapel, northwestern Colombia
  • Yarigui, northeastern Colombia
  • Yukpa, Yuko, northeastern Colombia
  • Zamyrua, northeastern Colombia
  • Zendagua, northwestern Colombia
  • Zenú, northwestern Colombia, pre-Columbian culture, 200 BCE–1600 CE
  • Zopia, western Colombia


This region includes northern parts Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela, and parts of the Amazonas, Amapá, Pará, and Roraima States in Brazil.

  • Acawai (6N 60W)
  • Acokwa (3N 53W)
  • Acuria (Akurio, AkuriyoRoraima, Brazil, Guyana, and Venezuela
  • Amariba (2N 60W)
  • Amicuana (2N 53W)
  • Apalaí (Apalai), Amapá, Brazil
  • Apirua (3N 53W)
  • Apurui (3N 53W)
  • Aracaret (4N 53W)
  • Aramagoto (2N 54W)
  • Aramisho (2N 54W)
  • Arebato (7N 65W)
  • Arekena (2N 67W)
  • Arhuaco, northeastern Colombia
  • Arigua
  • Arinagoto (4N 63W)
  • Arua (1N 50W)
  • Aruacay, Venezuela
  • Atorai (2N 59W)
  • Atroahy (1S 62W)
  • Auaké, Brazil and Guyana
  • Baniwa (Baniva) (3N 68W), Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela
  • Baraüana (1N 65W)
  • Bonari (3S 58W)
  • Baré (3N 67W)
  • Caberre (4N 71 W)
  • Cadupinago
  • Cariaya (1S 63 W)
  • Carib (Kalinago), Venezuela
  • Carinepagoto, Trinidad
  • Chaguan, Venezuela
  • Chaima, Venezuela
  • Cuaga, Venezuela
  • Cuacua, Venezuela
  • Cumanagoto, Venezuela
  • Guayano, Venezuela
  • Guinau (4N 65W)
  • Hixkaryána, Amazonas, Brazil
  • Inao (4N 65W)
  • Ingarikó, Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela
  • Jaoi (Yao), Guyana, Trinidad and Venezuela
  • Kali'na, Brazil, Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, Venezuela
  • Lokono (Arawak, Locono), Guyana, Trinidad, Venezuela
  • Macapa (2N 59W)
  • Macushi, Brazil and Guyana
  • Maipure (4N 67W)
  • Maopityan (2N 59W)
  • Mapoyo (Mapoye), Venezuela
  • Marawan (3N 52W)
  • Mariche, Venezuela
  • Mariusa, Venezuela
  • Marourioux (3N 53W)
  • Nepuyo (Nepoye), Guyana, Trinidad and Venezuela
  • Orealla, Guyana
  • Palengue, Venezuela
  • Palikur, Brazil, French Guiana
  • Parauana (2N 63W)
  • Parauien (3S 60W)
  • Pareco, Venezuela
  • Paria, Venezuela
  • Patamona, Roraima, Brazil
  • Pauishana (2N 62W)
  • Pemon (Arecuna), Brazil, Guyana, and Venezuela
  • Piapoco (3N 70W)
  • Piaroa, Venezuela
  • Pino (3N 54W)
  • Piritú, Venezuela
  • Purui (2N 52W)
  • Saliba (Sáliva), Venezuela
  • Sanumá, Venezuela, Brazil
  • Shebayo, Trinidad
  • Sikiana (Chikena, Xikiyana), Brazil, Suriname
  • Tagare, Venezuela
  • Tamanaco, Venezuela
  • Tarumá (3S 60W)
  • Tibitibi, Venezuela
  • Tiriyó (Tarëno), Brazil, Suriname
  • Tocoyen (3N 53W)
  • Tumuza, Venezuela
  • Wai-Wai, Amazonas, Brazil and Guyana
  • Wapishana, Brazil and Guyana
  • Warao (Warrau), Guyana and Venezuela
  • Wayana (Oyana), Pará, Brazil
  • Ya̧nomamö (Yanomami), Venezuela and Amazonas, Brazil
  • Ye'kuana, Venezuela, Brazil

Eastern Brazil

This region includes parts of the Ceará, Goiás, Espírito Santo, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará, and Santa Catarina states of Brazil


Pacific Lowlands


Northwestern Amazon

This region includes Amazonas in Brazil; the Amazonas and Putumayo Departments in Colombia; Cotopaxi, Los Rios, Morona-Santiago, Napo, and Pastaza Provinces and the Oriente Region in Ecuador; and the Loreto Region in Peru.

Eastern Amazon

This region includes Amazonas, Maranhão, and parts of Pará States in Brazil.

Southern Amazon

This region includes southern Brazil (Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, parts of Pará, and Rondônia) and Eastern Bolivia (Beni Department).

Southwestern Amazon

This region includes the Cuzco, Huánuco Junín, Loreto, Madre de Dios, and Ucayali Regions of eastern Peru, parts of Acre, Amazonas, and Rondônia, Brazil, and parts of the La Paz and Beni Departments of Bolivia.

Gran Chaco

Southern Cone

See also


  1. Steward, Julian H. (1948) Editor. Handbook of South American Indians. Volume 4 The Circum-Caribbean Tribes. Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 143.
  2. "Maco." Ethnologue. Retrieved 30 Aug 2012.
  3. "Cultural Thesaurus." National Museum of the American Indian. Retrieved 5 Aug 2012.
  4. "Apiaká: Introduction." Instituto Socioambiental: Povos Indígenas no Brasil. Retrieved 28 March 2012
  5. "Huachipaeri." Ethnologue. Retrieved 18 Feb 2012.
  6. "Cultural Thesaurus." Archived 2011-04-29 at the Wayback Machine National Museum of the American Indian. (retrieved 18 Feb 2011)
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