Cowodi: A non-people of nonpersons.
The Huaorani call everybody else Cowodi, which literally means “cannibal”. We—the non-Huaorani—are considered to be nonpersons.
Huaorani: A people of persons.
The Huaorani and the Waorani are the same people. Huao is singular. Huaorani is plural. The plural form means “people” or “those who speak our language.” They are also called “big ears.” The Huaorani have contact with the Cowodi.
Tagaeri: Another people of persons. A branch of the Huaorani which split off.
“Tagaeri” means “the people of Taga.” They are called the “red-coloured legs” because they paint their feet red. The Huaorani simply call them “the brave,” the people who go to war. The Tagaeri do not want to have any contact with the Cowodi.
Taromenane: They are not Huaorani, they are the Others.
The Taromenane are fantastic beings who live in the forest, people who are different but also similar, the Others but also equals. For the Huaorani they are, quite literally, the Others. Taromenane means “giant people who live at the end of the path and those who live with them.” They are the people of the path. There is a city under the world and they live there. The protestant SIL missionaries translated the words taromenga onguipo as “hell,” when in fact it means “the land of the Taromenane.” The Taromenane do not have contact with anybody.
SIL International or ILV: Summer Institute of Linguistics (Instituto Lingüístico de Verano in Spanish).
It is not an institute, nor is it linguistic, nor is it connected with the summer. SIL is an evangelical Christian non-profit organisation which has been accused of working for oil companies and being financed by the Rockefeller family.
Yasuni: National Park.
Yasuni National Park is an Ecuadorian national park in Pastaza and Orellana provinces between the Napo and Curaray rivers. UNESCO declared it a Biosphere Reserve in 1989 and it is part of the area in which the Huaorani nation lives.
Untouchable Zone: Paradise.
In 1998 Jamil Mahuad’s government declared an area of Yasuni National Park an Untouchable Zone in order to protect the tribes who live there in voluntary isolation and conserve the Biosphere Reserve far from the oil fields. The state of Ecuador’s economy has been based on oil since the 1970’s.