Survival of a Native
Culture - Page 1 of 5
One of the primary tourist attractions in Iquitos
is the Bora Indians who live near San Andrés Village on the Nanay River.
Many tourists visit them and see them dance in their traditional attire
(topless), but few get to really know the
Boras and their culture. Who are these indigenous people and how did they
come to live near Iquitos?
The Bora native community consists of about 3,000 native-speakers almost all
living in Peru (about 2000 individuals) and Colombia (about 1000 people),
although several Bora villages exist in Brazil. Unfortunately, the
Brazilian Boras no longer speak their native language having been largely
assimilated into the Brazilian culture. Some linguists believe that the Bora
language is related to Huitoto (Witoto).
The Bora tribe is divided into different clans, typically represented by an
animal. They paint their faces with different designs with "huito" (Genipa
americana), depending upon their clan. Intermarriage with the same clan
is prohibited, thus preventing interbreeding and genetic aberrations within
Traditionally, the Boras Indians do not dance nude (topless) as they do for tourists in
Iquitos. Instead they use large batons that they pound in unison
on the ground.
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