Terminology Language is a beautiful form of communication. There are hundreds of indigenous languages in the Amazon rainforest. Each ethnic group has its own unique lexicon. Each is music to the ears.
Aguarico The Cofán and other indigenous communities live along the Aguarico River located in northern Ecuador. Literally translated in English, it means rich water river. It is the main river of the Sucumbíos province and at the last part of its course, it reaches the Ecuadorian-Peruvian border. It empties into the Napo River. It has a length of 390 kilometers with the last 50 kilometers of its course extending along the natural border between Ecuador and Peru in the department of Loreto.
Aints Means “the people” in Awajún language.
A’i The A’i or Cofán people, are an indigenous people native to the Napo Province in northeast Ecuador and southern Colombia, living between the Guamués River (a tributary of the Putumayo River) and the Aguarico River (a tributary of the Napo River). Their population is now only 2,100 people according to a 2010 survey, down from approximately 15,000 in the mid-16th century; when the Spanish diminished their ancient civilization leaving few archeological remains. They speak the Cofán language or A’ingae, a language of the Chibchan family.
Aishmag Man in Awajún language.
A’ingae Cofán language.
Ajútap In Awajún language, Spirit Power that makes a person invulnerable in battle.
Ama Ama was created from the word Amazon, as a diminutive, to name our Ama collection, which is handmade by Asociación Sukû artisans of the Cofán community of Dureno in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Ama also means Love.
Amazon The area in Latin America where our work is focused. It is the most biodiverse ecosystem in the world, responsible for carbon sequestration and regulating global climate. The Amazon basin is over 2,250,000 sq. miles (5,827,500 sq. km). Named for the Amazon River in South America, rising in the Peruvian Andes and flowing east through north Brazil to the Atlantic; is the largest river in the world in volume; navigable for 2,300 miles (3,700 km) with a length over 4,000 miles (6,440 km). Area of basin is over 2,250,000 sq. miles (5,827,500 sq. km).
Apajui The Creator in Awajún language.
Asháninka The Asháninka are an indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest with a population of 45,000. They are the second largest indigenous group in Perú after the Quechua people. Asháninka means “our fellows” or “our kin-folk.” Their ancestral lands are in the forests of Junín, Pasco, Huánuco and part of Ucayali, stretching across the easternmost Peruvian Amazon with only a few hundred living in the state of Acre in Brazil.
Awajún Also called Aguaruna people in Spanish, are an indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon that live along the Marañón River and several tributaries near the Ecuadorian border. Historically, they lived primarily on the banks of the Marañón River, a tributary of the Amazon in northern Peru near the border with Ecuador. Currently, they possess titled community lands in four of Peru’s regions: Amazonas, Cajamarca, Loreto, and San Martin. According to Peru’s 1993 Census the Awajún numbered approximately 45,000. World Census data for 2000 lists their population at just over 38,000. More on the Awajún on our Awajún page.
Ayú Hello in the Awajún language.
Bakichik The number “One” in Awajún language.
Beaded Strung or decorated with beads, as in a beaded necklace or beaded bag.
Bio-Jewelry Jewelry made from plant based materials.
Bikut Father Shaman in Awajún language.
Boho Chic A fashion style drawing from eclectic influences from around the world, adopted initially by hippies in the 60′s. Boho is the abbreviation for Bohemian, a term that originated from the actual Kingdom of Bohemia in the now called Czech Republic. A Bohemian is a person from Bohemia and was also later used as a name for Gypsy and Roma People. It is also used to describe an unconventional person involved in the arts. Chic came from the French and has come to signify stylish or elegant.
Ccovu Ccovu means Moon in Cofán A’ingae language.
Chambira A native palm of the Amazon Rainforest, which has edible endosperm and fruit. It is of commercial value for its excellent fibers that are used for bags, hammocks, ropes, string instruments, jewelry and many crafts. It is also used as a medicinal plant.
Chichao Name in Awajún language of a large round and black seed.
Chiga Sun in Cofán A’ingae language.
Cofán The Cofán or A’i people, are an indigenous people native to the Napo Province in northeast Ecuador and southern Colombia, living between the Guamués River (a tributary of the Putumayo River) and the Aguarico River (a tributary of the Napo River). Their population is now only 2,100 people according to a 2010 survey, down from approximately 15,000 in the mid-16th century; when the Spanish diminished their ancient civilization leaving few archeological remains. They speak the Cofán language or A’ingae, a language of the Chibchan family.
Cushma Also spelled Kushma is a Quechua word. It is a long tunic-like robe that is worn all the way to the ankles. The Cushma is spun, handwoven and dyed by women weavers. They are made of organic rainforest cotton that has been grow for millennia in small forest gardens by the Ashaninka in the Peruvian Amazon, and dyed with rainforest plant dyes. The Cushma has been worn for over three thousand years by the Ashaninka, now reserved for important occasions as a status symbol.
Dureno A small town in the Sucumbiós province in the Ecuadorian Amazon along the Aguarico River, where the Cofán community we work with lives. Dureno is 45 minutes by car from Nueva Loja, the capital city of Sucumbios. Nueva Loja a.k.a. Lago Agrío, named by locals for the contaminated waters from the oil industry’s waste, is the largest oil city in the Amazon. Situated in the northeastern part of Ecuador, it borders with Colombia.
Eco Fashion See Eco Fashion page.
Eco Jewelry See Eco Jewelry page.
Enkepa A long Awajún breast plate necklace made with seeds in a chainmail pattern.
Etsa Etsa means Sun in Awajún. It is also the name of one of our collections and their respective jewelry styles, i.e. Etsa Beaded Necklace, etc.
Etse In the Awajún language, etse is a red and black seed, also called “huayruro” in Spanish. The huayruro seed is a good luck seed. The red and black colors symbolize good fortune and abundance, as well as balance. The seeds are said to protect from negativity and bring happiness. Newborns and newlyweds often receive huayruro seeds as gifts for a happy and prosperous life.
Gypset A compound word derived from Gypsy and Jet Set. Gypsetters are artists, designers, surfers and bon vivants who live semi-nomadic bohemian lifestyles and live, play and work around the world. Gypsies or Roma people are a nomadic culture that originated in India and have spread throughout the world. Jet setters are an international social group made up of affluent people who travel to fashionable destinations around the world.
Handmade An item made by hand, not by machine. Handmade items are of higher quality and value.
Handwoven Woven by hand or in a hand operated loom for textiles. Handwoven items are of higher quality and value.
Iinia Means “ourselves” in Awajún language.
Indigenous Originating, born or occurring naturally in a particular place. As in a native or indigenous Amazon community. Also native, aboriginal, native-born.
Ipáamamu In Awajún language, a traditional institution of mutual aid and collaboration.
Ipaksumat The number “Four” in the Awajún language.
Jimaj The number “Two” in the Awajún language.
Kampatum The number “Three” in the Awajún language.
Mara Used as the name of our Mara collection, as a diminutive of the Marañón River.
Marañón The Awajún and other communities live along the Marañon river. The Marañón river rises about 160 km to the northeast of Lima, Peru, flows through a deeply-eroded Andean valley in a northwesterly direction, along the eastern base of the Cordillera of the Andes, as far as 5 degrees 36′ southern latitude; then it makes a great bend to the northeast, and cuts through the inland Andes, until at the Pongo de Manseriche it flows through the plains. After its confluence with Ucayali River, the Marañón is given the name of the Amazon River.
Muun Great and Powerful in Awajún language. Also used as the name of the Muun collection.
Nantu Moon in Awajún language.
Nayainpinmak means Heaven in the Awajún language.
Nuwa Woman in Awajún language.
Pusheshu Woman in Cofán A’ingae language.
Sara A diminutive of “sarandango”, used to name of our Sara collection.
Shigra Bag in the Cofán language, usually made with chambira plant fiber and/or seeds .
Tsa’ccu Water in Cofán A’ingae language.
Tsandie Man in Cofán A’ingae language.
Tsúgki Water spirits in Awajún language.
Upcycle Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.
Urakusa Also spelled Urakuza, is a small town along the Marañón River in the province of Condorcanqui in the department of Amazonas in Perú, where the Awajún community we work with live. Condorcanqui is located in the Nor- Oriental area of Perú and borders Ecuador to the northeast.
Uweja The number “Five” in the Awajún language.
Wanpash Bag in the Awajún language, usually made with chambira plant fiber.
Yáakat In Awajún language, a town in the pattern of a nuclear or kin related population without streets, paths or squares. Distributed asymmetrically, usually along a river.
Yanpak In the Awajún language, a brown seed that has the appearance of being translucent.
Yawaa Dog in the Awajún language.
Yusajiak Name in Awajún language for an oval-shaped seed of tan, grey or brown color.
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