Guahibo-Sikuani - Settlements

The Sikuani live in dispersed villages formed by a few houses, with an average of less than 50 inhabitants. Villages that developed in the proximity of missions, near Creole villages, or at strategic points along communication axes are more nucleated, and their population exceeds 100 individuals. In the area of San José de Ocuné and on the Río Guaviare, there are some mixed Sikuani and Piapoco villages with an average of 100 persons. Settlement size and mutual proximity are determined by the availability of resources such as wooded areas and water supply and by such factors as distance from routes of communication and the possibility of maintaining relations through the presence of allied groups in the vicinity. Limited resources relative to the growth of the local population engender conflicts that trigger migration to new areas. The mobility of the Guahibo, a factor in the survival of the group vis-à-vis the influence of the dominant society, is based on the fact that there is no strict territoriality and that all Sikuani, whatever their original territory, consider themselves related and can establish new neighborhood relations and alliances in any part of the area. The creation of reserve zones and protected areas since 1970 has limited their traditional mobility somewhat and resulted in the definitive sedentarization of the last nomadic groups, such as the Cuiva of eastern Casanare and Venezuela and the Sikuani from the Tomo and Tuparro rivers.

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