adVenture visiting Peruvian Amazon Indians

Join anthropologist Dilwyn Jenkins, Author of the Rough Guide to Peru
Visiting the remote Ashaninka Indians: 14-days of Amazon jungle adVenture

Davarian: Peru adventure travel and expeditions to the Andes Mountains and Amazon Jungles  Ashaninka Indians

Ashaninka Woman Peru
© Dilwyn Jenkins
Ashaninka Woman
Ashaninka Indian Community
Moderate Challenge. 14-days.
June 2009
Pricing to be announced

The Amazon: The winding rivers and creek beds of the Andes carve the terrain, headwaters of fuel for the mighty Amazon River. Remote Andean and Amazon communities await the infrequent visitor who travels with a passion for perseverance and teamwork.

A journey into the Amazon rainforest. Here the Ashaninka rainforest communities have been safeguarding the forest and their culture for thousands of years .

Ashaninka Indian Community
June 2009
Ashaninka images © Ecotribal
Ashaninka Village Peru
Ashaninka Village

Ashaninka Children Peru
Ashaninka Children

Trekking, rafting in the rainforest and visiting traditional
Ashaninka tribe communities.

Your expedition is lead by Dilwyn Jenkins: With a passion for Peru and almost 30 years travelling the country, Dilwyn is an experienced tour guide and expedition leader. He has a Cambridge degree in Archaeology and Anthropology and has written all 6 editions of the Rough Guide to Peru.

The Asháninka are the second largest indigenous group in the Peruvian Amazon. They live in the rainforests near the headwaters and rivers that feed the Amazon: the Apurímac, Ene, Perené, Tambo rivers. Their ancestral lands are in the forests of Junin, Pasco, Huanuco and part of Ucayali.

The Asháninka (their name means: "a brother to all") are estimated between 25,000 and 55,000 with their nation made up of seven different groups who live scattered in more than 200 communities along the jungle valleys: the Cutivireni, the Perené Asheninga, the Atsiri, the Nomatsiguenga, and the Caquinteo.

The Asháninka are dependent on subsistence agriculture. They use the slash-and-burn method to clear lands and to plant yucca roots, sweet potato, corn, bananas, rice, coffee, cacao and sugar cane in biodiversity-friendly techniques. They live from hunting and fishing, basically using bows and arrows or spears, as well as from collecting fruit and vegetables in the jungle.

In the latter half of the 20th century, Ashaninka communities were involved in territorial conflict with colonists and rebel insurgents, their territories reduced and the families pushed further into the jungle. Only in the last few years have the Ashaninka succeeded in getting legal title to a portion of their lands, these lands are now a Reserved Zone and a National Park, Otishi National Park.

Our Journey begins: Our passage is overland from Lima crossing the Andes by bus to jungle frontier town of Satipo, our staging area for the expedition.

We then board motorized canoes for our upriver passage into the Amazon. Trekking through the forest and along the rivers we visit the Ashaninka communities between Cutivireni and Parijaro, returning down river by raft.

Ashaninka Village Peru
Ashaninka with Baby Sling

Ashaninka Children Peru
Elder in Cushma robe

At Cutivireni we meet Ashaninka Indians who have been safeguarding the forest and their culture for thousands of years. Our guides and porters prepare equipment for our jungle trek.

Our journey includes a 3-day trek through the forest to the Ashaninka's sacred waterfall "Parijaro", a 1,000ft drop, the 5th highest single drop waterfall fall in South America.

After our visit to the waterfall we prepare rafts for our down river passage back to Cutivireni.

Our departure from Cutivireni is by motorized canoe, arriving Satipo. And our bus trip back over the Andes to Lima.

Ashaninka Culture:
Traditional Ashaninka cotton robes, or cushmas, are woven by the Ashaninka women for the men of their tribe. The organic cotton is grown in small forest gardens within Amazon rainforest. The natural dyes used to colour the cushmas are produced by trees and plants collected from the natural environment. Cushmas are an Ashaninka's most prized possession and there is a very long tradition of giving and exchanging cushmas and cloth with nyomparis (or trading partners) which linked distant Ashaninka villages into cycles of meetings, collaboration and resource sharing.
Cushmas are made from cotton which does not grow so well in all eco-niches occupied by the Ashaninka. Because of this, it is a truly special exchange gift for Ashaninka who depend on tree bark for their cushmas because they live high up above the valley floor, where the climate does not favour cotton. On the other hand, the bark cloth Ashaninka might grow good tobacco which can be exchanged for cushmas or cotton cloth.

Traditional baby slings are woven by women of the Ashaninka tribe. The organic cotton is grown in their small forest gardens - or chacras - within the Amazon rainforest. Natural dyes are used to colour the cotton cloth and seeds collected from many different rainforest plants provide decoration. Carved bones are also traditionally used to adorn baby slings. These are collected from wild animals (usually forest pigs) that Ashaninka men hunt for the tribe to eat.

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Ashaninka trek 2009:

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