Foto: Mônica Barroso, 2003

Shanenawa

  • Autodenominação
    Shanenawa
  • Where they are How many

    AC763 (Siasi/Sesai, 2014)
  • Linguistic family
    Pano

Introduction

The history of the Shanenawa people is typical to those experienced by most of the indigenous populations in Acre. At the start of the 20th century, they were victims of the rapid and violent occupation of the region to extract caucho and rubber. As the regional economy developed, the Shanenawa were initially used as a workforce to supply meat and other food items to the workers in the rubber extraction areas, before being integrated later by force in the actual extraction of the rubber and the activity of taming the ‘wild’ Indians on the upper Envira River.

After a number of relocations, the Shanenawa moved to live in an area of land that was later homologated under the name Katukina/Kaxinawa. This was due to a mistake since they were confused with Katukina Indians and called as such. Fearing that they would lose the right to their lands, bearing in mind the lengthy history of violence and injustice to which they had been subjected, the Shanenawa decided not to reverse this misunderstanding. Linguistic studies conducted in the 1990s confirmed that the Shanenawa language is indeed part of the Pano family rather than a Katukina language.