Amahuaca, Ipitineri in Peru

Amahuaca, Ipitineri
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People Name: Amahuaca, Ipitineri
Country: Peru
10/40 Window: No
Population: 400
World Population: 600
Primary Language: Amahuaca
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 5.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.30 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South American Indigenous
Affinity Bloc: Latin-Caribbean Americans
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

In the 1700s missionaries were met with resistance by the Amahuaca. By tradition the Amahuaca lived in the Urubamba Valley in Peru. When rubber plantation owners raided them looking for slaves, this action caused them to move to other regions deeper in the rainforest.

They speak a Panoan lanaguage and their language is written in the Latin script. They have parts of the Bible available in their language.

The Amahuaca are a tribe who live in the Amazon rainforest. Most live in Peru while a smaller group live in Brazil. They have several names and one of them is Ipitineri.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Today the existence of the Amahuaca is threatened by contagious diseases and illegal logging in their home region. The Amahuaca men hunt monkeys, birds and wild pigs for food. Other men fish in the rivers and lakes. Women gather edible fruit sand roots. The Amahuaca also engage in the farming of manioc, beans, bananas, and Brazil nuts. They trade any surplus fish or agricultural products for things they cannot make for themselves like appliances and metal tools.

Life expectancy is low for tribal groups like the Amahuaca, about 45 years. Many Amahuaca die from preventable diseases like TB, flu, and parasites. Due to the lack of modern medicine, many children die before their tenth birthday.

Some of the Amahuaca young people are moving away from their parents to Peruvian towns and cities. They are looking for better economic and educational opportunities for themselves and their children. If the Amahuaca are to prosper in the cities, they must learn Spanish and new job skills.

Literacy is low among the Amahuaca. Rural children often lack schools to attend. Those who attend school frequently quit after a few years to help their family make a living.

In their homeland the Amahuaca marry within their group. Young people who move to cities often marry people outside of their people.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Like many other tribal groups, the Amahuaca practice folk religion and animism. They believe that spirits inhabit the objects of nature such as trees, animals, rivers, and rocks. These spirits must be appeased by prayers, offerings and rituals or they will not bring harm. The village shaman connects the Amahuaca to the spirit world. He also serves as the village’s primary physician. Modern medical care is frequently dozens of miles away from the Amahuaca villages.

What Are Their Needs?

The Amahuaca would greatly benefit from modern medical care. Teams of believers can go to the Amahuaca to provide this urgent need. Rural Amahuaca children need schools and teachers. Most of all, the Amahuaca need to hear and respond to the good news of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and free them from their fear of evil spirits.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to lead the Amahuaca into productive work and a prosperous future.

Pray that the Amahuaca get the whole Bible in their language.

Pray for them to decide as a group to follow Jesus Christ, leading to God’s blessings.

Pray for workers to go to the Amahuaca people of Peru.

Ask the Lord to raise up a thriving Amahuaca church in this decade.

Text Source:   Joshua Project