Peru Colombia Venezuela Ecuador
Bolivia Guyana Suriname French Guiana
MASSIVE!!! How does 2,123,562 sq
That’s the equivalent of 140 keralas-
pretty big, eh?
EIf the Amazon was a country it would be the 9th largest country on the
planet (1.2 billion acres or 48 million football fields).
R.Amazon is the second longest river in the world and by far the largest by
waterflow with an average discharge greater than the next seven largest rivers
the Amazonia is made up of a mosaic of ecosystems and vegetation types including
rainforests, seasonal forests, deciduous forests, flooded forests, and savannas
• There were an estimated ten million
Indians living in the Amazonian
Rainforest five centuries ago. Today
there are less than 200,000.
• In Brazil alone, European colonists have
destroyed more than 90 indigenous
tribes since the 1900’s.
• With them have gone centuries of
accumulated knowledge of the medicinal
value of rainforest species.
Indigenous people * mother tongue Residence
yanomami Yanomaman languages Yanos/shabono
Yucuna yucuna Yukana Malocas
* This list is incomplete
The Yanomami believe strongly in equality among people. Each
community is independent from others and they do not
recognize ‘chiefs’. Decisions are made by consensus, frequently
after long debates where everybody has a say.
Like most Amazonian tribes, tasks are divided between the sexes. Men hunt for game like
peccary, tapir, deer and monkey, and often use curare (a plant extract) to poison their prey.
Although hunting accounts for only 10% of Yanomami food, amongst men it is considered the
most prestigious of skills and meat is greatly valued by everyone.
No hunter ever eats the meat that he has killed. Instead he shares it out among friends and
family. In return, he will be given meat by another hunter.
The Yanomami have a huge botanical knowledge and use about 500 plants for food,
medicine, house building and other artefacts. They provide for themselves partly by
hunting, gathering and fishing, but crops are also grown in large gardens cleared from
The Yanomami local groups are generally made up of a multifamily house in
the shape of a cone or truncated cone called yanos
Some yanos can house up to 400 people. The central area is used for activities such
as rituals, feasts and games.
Interior of the Yanomami maloca at night,
Yanos are built from raw materials from the jungle, such as leaves, vines, plums
and tree trunks.
-They get heavy damage from rains, winds, and insects, so Yanos are usually
rebuilt every 1 to 2 years.
After each family builds its own house, a common roof is built connecting all
the individual houses together. Each family is responsible to build its own
section of the common roof. This forms a circular donut-shaped village
To build the yanos the poles are put in place and secured in
the ground and overhead. Then thousands of leaves are
woven into the thatch. Permanent yanos are usually
surrounded by palisades to protect themselves from possible
attacks. The palisades are about 10 feet long and are made of
logs from palm trees
The walls are held up with
poles and the village roof is made of thatch
(dry leaves and branches)
so after a few years yanos rots and fills with insects and rodents. Then the Yanomami
build a new village, sometimes next to the old one.
Yanomami move every five years or so to find new land to grow food in.
An Amazonian Indian group who today
number about one thousand people.
They live near Equator
between 70°31’ and 71°31’ W and
0°45’ and 1° S, which is currently in the
Comisaría Especial del Amazonas in
• They reside in a communal house called maloca
• Maloca is a large structure which simultaneously serves as dwelling
site, a temporary village for over one hundred people, a workplace, a
temple, and a burial site.
• Each maloca domestic community is an economically self sufficient
unit with its own territories for shifting horticulture, hunting and
Construction of maloca starts with autumn equinox
Maloca headman selects the site
The construction team starts clearing jungle and they do complete
malocas in 2 months
weaving palm leaves onto one of the laths that
forms the framework of the roof and holds the
•The plan of the maloca starts
with the placing of the 4
central posts/poles 4m from
•Once installed four beams
are wedged on top, upon
which a clearstory opening
will be based.
FLOOR ZONING OF MALOCA
The pattern and breadth of its path
within each ,Maloca portray in a
different manner the size,
constitution, capacity of resource
•The astronomical orientation of
the maloca is determined by the
preferences for an east west axis
for the openings on the gable roof
which allows for a time keeping
device within the malocas as the
sun’s rays sweep its interior.
•The positions of each post, beam
and pinnacle and doors are
determined by a ritual orientation
of space which is culturally
determined by the dominant
yukana classsifactory system and
its semantic fields.
S Y M B O L I S M
Construction of maloca starts with autumn equinox
MALOCA AS A
The December dry season rituals take place in the maloca’s northern side, the equinoctial ones
in its centre, and the June wet season ones in the southern side, precisely in the part of the
house which the sun illuminates at that time of the year.
The sun’s shafts in the yearly sweep illuminate not only the floor but different parts of the
roof’s interior and posts and beams.
MALOCA AS A
ROOF Male worlds of the ancestors, of music, of
shamanism, of stars, and of high-flying birds
FLOORS Female forces of fertility, regeneration and death
For close kin(jaguar side)
For allies (anaconda side)
• The Amazon Basin, the largest in the
world, covers about 30% of South
• Amazonia is very sparsely
• There are scattered settlements
inland, but most of the population
lives in a few larger cities on the
banks of the Amazon River.
• Due to large variation in the water
level of the river houses are built
on the rafts along the river.
• The houses rise and fall with the
water levels that change from
• Many houses are built together and
they all together known as Floating
Amazonia Floating Village
• Houses are almost made of
materials gathered from the
• Roofs are made up of woven
• Walls of these houses are built
from wood taken right from
• The walls are only a few feet
tall to let the breeze flow
• Sub tropical forest of Brazil &
Nort East Argentina
• In Hot region with High
• Scattered settlement,Villages
• Slender staffs,bamboo, plalm
leaves, boards. Clay
• Walls build on stave frame
inserted at corners & doorway
• 4 to 6 bamboo along the
corners & 3 along central line
• Palm ribs & wiven mats for
Bandeirista (Sao Paulo)
• Located in the high Tiete river basin
around the cities of Sao Paulo.
• They have white walls, very few
openings and hipped roofs.
• Foundation – stone,
• Plastered with clay mixed with cow
dung ( 10 – 15 cm)
• Structure – Beams supported by walls
• Roof – Clay tiles
• Windows – blinds inside , shutters
• Floor – Beaten Earth, Wood on top
• Furniture's-undecorated & odd scale
• Walls became Limestone's by 18th
• Appropriate to Landscape
Encyclopaedia Of Vernacular Architecture Of
The World Volume3
CAMBRIDGE – USA Publisher
ISBN 0521564220, 9780521564229