The collective designation for a group of tribes constituting the Tacanan linguistic stock in different dialects, occupying the upper valleys of the Beni and Madre de Dios Rivers, on the eastern slope of the Andes, Department of Beni, north-western Bolivia. The group includes: the Tacana proper, the Isiamo, the Cavina, and the Aten or Leco, all missionized by the Franciscan Fathers of the College of Ocopa, Peru, about the end of the eighteenth century; the still uncivilized Toromona and Araume and several others; and the more remote Sapibocona of the Moxos mission farther to the south. In 1832 the five Tacana missions contained 5304 Christian Indians, while the wild Toromona were estimated at 1000 more. In 1852 the traveller Weddell spent some time at the mission of Guanay and has given us a good description of the Indians as he found them. In 1883 Heath reports them as greatly reduced, the 1000 Cavina of 1832 having dwindled to 70 souls. Like their neighbours, the Mozetena and Yurucare, the Tacana are noted for their light complexion, fine features, and tall stature, averaging over five and a half feet. Of their language, which is extremely guttural and jerky in pronunciation, we have vocabularies by Heath and Weddell, besides a small devotional publication. In their primitive condition they subsisted, and still do, by agriculture, hunting, and fishing, went naked except for feather decorations on dance occasions, and lived in small communities subject to petty chiefs. Some of their tribes were reputed cannibals. The civilized Tacana wear as their principal garment a sleeveless shirt or chemise, keeping the head and feet bare. They are expert at weaving and the making of straw hats, but are not industrious beyond their immediate needs.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online