Guajiro - History and Cultural Relations

In the southern part of the peninsula, there existed a population from around 1500 B . C . to just before the Conquest that, like the Guajiro, had a custom of double funerals; however, there is nothing to indicate that they were the ancestors of the Guajiro, who, from the linguistic evidence, originated in Amazonia. The Spaniards reached the coasts of Guajiroland in 1499 and began their penetration into the peninsula in 1526. According to chroniclers, there were several indigenous groups coexisting in the area (e.g., Anate, Atanare, Canoa, Caquetio, Cocina, Guanabucare, Makuira), but it is possible that they attributed several names to a given society, each one referring to various economic and social aspects of that society. The only other group that exists in the vicinity of the Guajiro today is the lacustrine Paraujano, who speak a closely related language and who are on the road to extinction.

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