Tagaeri

Tagaeri

The Tagaeri are a clan of Huaorani people living in Yasuni National Park, at the Ecuadorian Amazon Basin, named (in Wao-Terero, the Huaorani language) for their association with the warrior Taga. While they share a cultural and linguistic heritage with other Huaorani, they have continued to live the nomadic lifestyle once common to their people and have been fiercely resistant, making them one of the so-called uncontacted peoples of the world. In addition to Tagaeri the area is home to 3 other uncontacted groups: the Taromenane, the Oñamenane, and the Huiñatare.

The clan separated from other Huaorani in 1968, led by Taga, during a period of intense inter-clan violence and have since lived in comparative isolation. Attempts at contact by outside peoples have often been violently rebuffed, beginning with a series of attacks on the colonial settlement of Coca in reprisal for the attempted evangelization by the Summer Institute of Linguistics. The most recent such violence was the 1987 spearing of missionaries Alejandro Labaca and Inés Arango.

Contact with other Huaorani has remained at a low level, often marked by bursts of inter-clan violence, as in 1993 and 2003.

It is estimated that there are perhaps only 20-30 surviving Tagaeri, although these numbers are uncertain. Together with the Taromenane they make up the two last known indigenous groups living in voluntary isolation in Ecuador. On February 15, 2008, authorities in Ecuador agreed to investigate reports that five tribespeople belonging to the Taromenane and Tagaeri tribes were killed by illegal loggers.

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