ANT 101 3:30-4:45pm!
The Farut People!
The Farut people are fishermen and agriculturist by trade, and can be found near one of
the many rivers that are apart of the Orinoco Delta of northeaster Venezuela. The Farut are more commonly known around the world as the Warao Indians, and Warao has a few different translations. One translation being marshland people because of the area that they in habits is a tropical rainforest that consist mainly of marshlands, and the second translation is canoe people and this comes from the the Farut means of transportation through the marshlands. Dale A. Olsen the author of “An Ethnomusicological Survey of The Warao Indians of Venezuela An
Introduction to Warao Music and Culture” talked about the waters the Farut navigate on a daily bases. He said “ There are no rapids, no cataracts, and few obstacles except for shoals during low tide or the dry season, felled trees blocking one’s path, or flotsam. There are no dangerous animals, few snakes, and, except for the possibility of sting rays, electric eels, piranhas, and other water life with which one should not come into contact, few threats exist above or beneath the water.” The lack of threats from the water and all the things that the water provides for the Farut people is why they live in houses right above the water.
Before the twentieth century the Farut’s house were built more in land away from the shorelines and were small three by three huts. These huts were made from a local tree know as the moriche tree, and the Farut would used the leaves and branches to make the rood and the stems of the tree made up the roof. Countries and their Cultures website data collect from anthropologist such as Dieter Heinen, Henry Osborn, and Jonhannes Wilbert talks about how the
Warao people have been influenced by the outside world. Countries and their Cultures says with
the introduction of ocumo the Farut people moved to open shoreline and is where most villages are today. Now the Farut’s villages have a number of eight by twelve structures with a few small kitchens, dancing floors and even two story ritual structures. The house are built with floors that are similar to that of a footbridge covered by with the trunks of the maniacs plan tree, and the roof is made with branches and leaves from the moriche tree with a thatching technique. The house are built right over the water on stilts above high tide so flooding is not a problem. When
Dr. Olsen was conducting his ethnomusicological survey he lived with the Warao for about seven moths and in his time there he lived in a school building “which was built on cement pilings” and slept in a hammock.
The owners of the house’s are women and are referred to as hanoko orotu, and a group of sister and classificatory sisters makes the important decisions on a day to day bases. The working group is lead by the hanoko orotu’s husband and is assisted by his oldest daughters husband, which will one day take his spot as leader of the working group. Females go through special ceremonies marked by natural events like puberty and child birth. When an Farut female begins to get her period she is now considered to be a young women and after she gives birth to her second child she will be considered a adult women. For males are directed down three paths of life for the most part being shaman, fisherman or boatbuilder. Those males with strong connections to the spiritual world from birth become shaman, those males with good crafting skills become boat building experts and the rest become fisherman. All males must complete something similar to an apprenticeship over seen by an elder who the village already considers to be an expert. As for children of the Farut learn by example and live interaction instead of rules
handed down by the group elders. Both mothers and fathers show affection towards their children, but the same sex parent is the one who