Area: Alto Solimones - Colombia - Brazil frontier
Other Names: Tikuna, Tukuna, Magüa
First Contact: 1532
Population: 32,613 (1998)
Economics: Fishing and Agriculture
Language Root: Alolfilo (not yet identified)
The Ticuna, also spelled Tukuna or Tikuna, reside in the Brazilian Amazon rain forest near the borders of Peru and Colombia. There are over 70 established Ticuna aldeias (villages) in the Alto Solimones, in the area of the rivers Santo Antonio do Ica and Solimones River. There is also a population in Colombia. The Ticuna were one of the first major tribes of the Amazon to be contacted by the early conquistadors. They are one of the last large population groups left in Brazil. Even with over 400 years of contact, the Ticuna Nation has managed to preserve their personal identity through their native language, traditional religions, rituals, and cultural art forms. They have survived the constant threat of violent extermination and forced integration policies by Western society. The Ticuna are a very artistic tribe whose talents include basketry, wood and stone sculpture, and mask making. They also make bark cloth which is a natural fiber, paper-like fabric which they often paint. This fabric is often incorporated into many things such as masks and dolls as well as painting on it as on canvas or paper. They are one of the few Amazon tribes that paint just for the worth of the painting itself as opposed to painting as decoration on a utilitarian object.