Foto: Hein van der Voort, 2002

Makurap

  • Other names
    Macurap
  • Where they are How many

    RO579 (Siasi/Sesai, 2014)
  • Linguistic family
    Tupari

Introduction

For centuries, the Makurap have occupied a prominent position in the interethnic complex located on the right bank of the Guaporé, their language having been converted into a ‘lingua franca’ since the start of the 20th century. During the latter period the traditional territory of these groups was invaded by the rubber industry whose bosses imposed the debt-slavery system on the region’s indigenous peoples and provoked widespread depopulation through devastating epidemics of new diseases. The surviving peoples were subsequently confined to demarcated areas allocated to various ethnic groups with boundaries that bear no relation to the traditional territory of the peoples concerned. In these areas, Makurap is still the predominant indigenous language in the chicha-fueled festivals that remain one of the distinctive and socially cohesive features of the region’s groups.