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Barama River Carib Pitek, Emily
The Barama River Carib inhabit the tropical forest area along the Barama River waterway in Guyana. Contact with outside societies is limited, and the Barama Carib's religious beliefs do not appear to be greatly influenced by Christianity. Their religious beliefs include an otiose high god, present but distant and avoided spirits of the deceased, and a variety of other non-human spirits. The piaiyen is a priestly figure who, through training and experience, is able to communicate with the supernatural as well as act as a medical practitioner. There is no official political leadership office, but local headmen are present and chosen on the basis of personality, power, and strength. Because the activities of the religious group are tied up with the functions of the society at large, this entry considers the religious group to be coterminous with the society itself.
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