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Shuar man with traditional make up
Population and Language
According to the 2010 census, Ecuador has a population of 110,000 Shuars. The language is Shuar, which belongs to the Jivaroana linguistic family.
They are grouped in community centers that are preceded by a Trustee. These centers are articulated in Federations where the highest authority is the Assembly, which is directed by a Board of Directors, elected every three years, presided over by a President.
There are three federations in this nationality: FICSH, FIPSE and FINAE. These organizations are articulated through an inter-federational coordinator, an organization whose main objective is to coordinate actions in defense of the rights of the nationalities in the face of pressure from the oil companies.
Until recently, the Shuar nationality was only integrated and organized in two large groups: the Interprovincial Federation of the Shuar People of Ecuador, FIPSE, based in Macuma, and the Indigenous Federation of Shuar Centres, FICSH, based in Sucúa, both in Morona Santiago. The two federations represented the largest number of Shuar indigenous people, as 65% of their population is located in the province of Morona Santiago and the other 35% between the provinces of Zamora Chinchipe and Pastaza.
The Shuar of Pastaza had been channeling, for a long time, to obtain an organism that represents them and gathers their own aspirations, since they were not integrated into these two federations and, above all, for the distance that separated them. Therefore, they sought to form their own federation with headquarters in Puyo, in order to gather and integrate the Shuar communities of the jurisdiction of Pastaza. Thus, in June 2000, the Federation of the Shuar Nationality of Pastaza was created, FENASHP, which is currently the only representative organism of the Shuar of Pastaza.
Traditionally, man wore a skirt called "Itip", woven in cotton and colored with natural dyes. The woman wore a kind of tunic tied to one shoulder and encircled at the waist by a cord. Today it is very common to use Western model garments. The dress is complemented with body paint made with achiote.
The Shuar house is elliptical in shape, with a very wide interior space in which there are two restrictive zones: the "ekent", a family area for women and small children, and the "tankamash", a social area for men and for visitors. The Shuar house has a dirt floor, walls with chonta planks and a palm-leaf roof.