Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 08:56 GMT

World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Venezuela : Yekuana

Publisher Minority Rights Group International
Publication Date 2008
Cite as Minority Rights Group International, World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Venezuela : Yekuana, 2008, available at: [accessed 26 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


Venezuelan Yekuanas live in the states of Amazonas and Bolivar bordering Brazil and are known around the world for their elaborate basket weaving.

Historical context

The Yekuana remained relatively isolated until the 1960s when the Venezuelan government launched a development plan for the southern part of the country. In this plan, the government promoted the migration of non-indigenous people to that region. This resulted in a fragmentation of the Yekuana political structure, which was further aggravated by the activities of non-Yekuana religious institutions. In the 1990s, the Yekuana protested proposed hydroelectric projects which would change the course of their rivers and by bauxite mining.

Current issues

The Yekuana continue to have limited access to education and health services. They also face the threat of encroachment by legal and illegal miners.

Copyright notice: © Minority Rights Group International. All rights reserved.

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