Shipibo - Orientation

Identification. The Shipibo are a South American Indian group in Peru. The name "Shipibo" is derived from the Shipibo word shipi , their name for a marmoset ( Cebuella pygmaea ). Hence, they have been referred to as the "little monkey people."

Location. The Shipibo occupy the central Río Ucayali region of eastern Peru and its major western tributaries from Bolognesi to Contamana, with Pucallpa in its geographical center. Among the most significant of these rivers are the Sheshea, Pachitea, Tamayo, Aguaytía, Pisqui, and Cushabatay.

Demography. Population reports for the Shipibo vary, with estimates as high as 20,000 to 30,000. A census in 1974 reported the existence of 9,000 Shipibo and another 6,000 Conibo.

Linguistic Affiliation. The Shipibo language belongs to the Panoan Family. Dialectic differences exist between those who live along the Río Ucayali and others who occupy its tributaries, such as the Pisqui.

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