Warrau also known as “Warao”, “Ciawani”, “Guaraúnos”, “Tiuitiuas”, “Waraweete” Pitek, Emily
The Warrau inhabit the Orinoco Delta of northeastern Venezuela and traditionally lived in villages known as Rancherias, which were comprised of about five to twenty families. This entry focuses on the time of about 1930. At this point, missionaries had established contact with the Warrau, but the indigenous belief system had not been Christianized. The religious and cultural traditions of the Warrau varied regionally as a result of extreme geographic isolation, but shared a common belief in the god Jebu, the presence of their sanctuary (house of the Jebu), priests (guisidatu), prayers and offerings to Jebu, as well as religious celebrations and dances (Turrado and Muirden, 1945:302). The belief system of the Warrau is not an official or organized religion, but an aspect of life interwoven with society. Further, the Warrau did not place a strong emphasis on a belief in the afterlife, and did not possess rites, ceremonies, religious scripture or credo (Turrado and Muirden, 1945:302). As such, the Warrau religion is most accurately considered to be coterminous with society itself. Presently, the Warrau fall under the jurisdiction of the Venezuelan administration (Dieter and Beierle, 2001).
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