People of the Rainforest - Huitoto Natives
By Mike Collis

A Huitoto Native





The people known as the Huitoto Indians live deep in the Amazon rainforest along the Ampiyacu and Putumayo Rivers in Northeastern Peru. They were for many years fierce enemies of the Bora Indians but for many years they have co-existed together in harmony. Both the Huitotos and the Boras are very talented artists and produce dolls, rattles, masks, tree bark clothing and blowguns.
The tree bark skirts are made from the inner layer of bark from the fig tree which is beaten until it is soft. From this bark cloth they make clothing which usually consists of a short skirt for men and women. Although many Huitoto women wear western clothes nowadays traditionally they wore their tree bark skirts and were bare breasted. Both men and women wear necklaces, feathers and sometimes paint their bodies white or red paint, the paint being made of onoto or urucu pods which are crushed into a red paste.

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