Trio - Orientation

Identification. The self-name is "Tïrïyo" for the more easterly groups and "Tarëno" for the westerly groups. "Trio," the name by which these people are generally known in Suriname and French Guiana, is almost certainly a Bush Negro distortion of "Tïrïyo." In Brazil the group is generally known as "Tiriyó." Today the name covers previously distinguished groups, such as the Pianokoto, Okomoyana, Pirëuyana, Arimiyana, Aramayana, Aramiso, and Maraso.

Location. The Tiro live on both sides of the Suriname-Brazilian frontier.

Demography. First estimates, from the early twentieth century, put the number of Trio at between 800 and 1,000. Figures for the middle of the century range upward from around 600. At that time the Trio had experienced a severe decline in their numbers, mainly as a result of imported diseases against which they had little natural resistance. Following the introduction of Western medical care in the 1960s, the population increased rapidly, and today there are about 1,200 Indians—approximately 400 in Brazil and 800 in Suriname.

Linguistic Affiliation. The Trio language belongs to the East-West Guiana Subdivision of the Northern Carib Family.

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