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10007 - Wanderings and questionings of Amazonian demography: the case of Wayãpi, Teko and Wayana

The demography of the Amerindian people of Amazonia became reliable only in second half of the 20th century. To elucidate in detail the demography of the periods which thus go from the contact at the beginning of the 20th, is an impossible bet. The analysis of the documents of archives and the results of the archaeological excavations prove however, when the two types of data exist, the surest means of obtaining acceptable data.Nevertheless the traps are numerous and of the factors such as the modes of counting, presupposed of the travellers, the real nature of the visited communities, etc .. have a strong effect on the results.We will try through data resulting from the archives to illustrate our matter starting from the detailed analysis of the people Wayãpi, Teko and Wayana (French Guiana, Surinam, Brazil), during the period going from the contact to the beginning of the 20th century. The archeology of the south of Guyana being at its beginnings, it is especially on the historical records and contemporary ethnohistoric works that we will rest.If is allowed that these people knew through all this period a demographic fall, one will see in particular that this one was neither linear, nor undergone passively. When with the causes of this demographic fall, the comparison between the indigenous speech and that of the colonizers are also rich of teaching.

Keywords: Amazonian Demography, French Guyana, Demographic fall, Wayãpi

Author: Grenand, Pierre (IRD, France / Frankreich)

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