A noted and savage tribe of Panoan linguistic stock, ranging the forests between the Ucayali, the Yavari and the Marañon (Amazon) rivers in north-east Peru and the adjacent portions of Brazil. From the fact that some of them are of light skin and wear beards, a legend has grown up that they are descended from Spanish soldiers of Ursua's expedition (1569), but it is probable that the difference comes from later admixture of captive blood. As a tribe they are full-blooded and typically Indian. It has been suggested that the story may have originated from the confusion of "Marañones", the name given to the followers of Ursau and Aguirre, with Mayorunas, which seems to be from the Quicha language of Peru. Markham interprets the name as "Men of Muyu" (Muyu-runa), indicating an ancient residence about Moyobamba (Muyubamba), farther to the west. One of their subtribes is known as "Barbudo" (Spanish, Bearded). Other subtribes are Itacule, Musimo or Musquima, Urarina. The Mayoruna tribes were among those gathered into the missions of the Mainas province (see MAINA INDIANS) in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, being represented in the missions of San Joaquin (Mayoruna proper), Nuestra Señora del Carmen (Mayoruna proper), and San Xavier (Urarina and Itucale. By the repeated attacks of the Portuguese slave-hunters (see MAMELUCO) between 1680 and 1710, and the revolts of the mission Indians in 1695 and 1767 the Mayoruna were driven to take refuge in their forests and are now wholly savage and particularly hostile to either whites or Indians who enter their territory, even successfully repelling a joint government exploring expedition in 1866. In person they are tall and well-formed, with rather delicate features, going perfectly naked, with flowing hair cut across the forehead. Instead of bows they use spears, clubs, and blowguns, and are famous for the strength of the deadly curari poison with which they tip their arrows. They avoid river banks and do not use canoes. The charge of cannibalism has not been proven. (See also PANO).
More Catholic Encyclopedia
Browse Encyclopedia by Alphabet
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 in fifteen hardcopy 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.
Browse the Catholic Encyclopedia by Topic
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