Skip to main content



ETHNONYMS: Agouti, Aguti, Horunahua, Marinawa, Morunahwa, Onicoin

The approximately 150 Marinawa ("Agouti people") live in the region of the upper reaches of the Río Purús (11° S, 72° W), primarily in Peru, and possibly in adjacent regions of Brazil. Their language belongs to the South-Eastern Branch of the Panoan Family and is intelligible to Sharanahua speakers; indeed, many authorities consider the Marinahua a subgroup of the Sharanahua who speak a dialect of the Sharanahua language. A fairly large percentage of people have some facility in Spanish. The Marinahua lived in the upper Rio Tarauacá region to the north at the time of contact but left that area circa 1900 because other Indian peoples, fleeing the rubber tappers, pushed them out. Later, they were found living on the Río Furnaya, a tributary of the Embira. They reached their present location in the 1940s; this suggests a generally eastward pattern of movement. In the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, the Marinahua fell victim to epidemics of whooping cough and measles, which cut their population in half.

The Marinahua hunt and fish and raise maize, manioc, peanuts, bananas, and plantains in swidden plots; some sell animal skins for cash. Today, a few also work as migrant laborers. The Marinahua did not acquire the technology of canoes and fishing nets until the 1960s.


Pike, Eunice, and Eugene Scott (1962). "The Phonological Hierarchy of Marinahua." Phonetica 8:1-8.

Shell, Olive (1958). Grupos idiomáticos de la selva peruana. Lima: Philological Institute of the Faculty of Arts, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Marinahua." Encyclopedia of World Cultures. . 23 Sep. 2019 <>.

"Marinahua." Encyclopedia of World Cultures. . (September 23, 2019).

"Marinahua." Encyclopedia of World Cultures. . Retrieved September 23, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.