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Differences in life style and nutritional status between settlers and Siona-Secoya Indians living in the same Amazonian milieu

Differences in life style and nutritional status between settlers and Siona-Secoya Indians living in the same Amazonian milieu

Ecology of food and nutrition5(4): 307-322

The influx of migrant populations who came to colonize the Amazon province of Napo (Ecuador) profoundly changed the human landscape and physical environment of the region. To study the nutritional consequences of this newly created situation, individual anthropometric, agricultural and food consumption surveys were carried out among the colonizers and Siona-Secoya Indians. None of the children displayed signs of serious malnutrition, but physical underdevelopment, infections and parasites were common, the settlers being more affected than the Indians. With a lifestyle favouring better hygiene, agriculture majoring in food crops, and a more diversified menu, the subsistence system of the Sionas-Secoyas is better able to meet their needs and maintain their physical integrity than that of the settlers, who are ill-adapted to their new surroundings and whose production is mainly oriented towards cash crops. The efficiency of Siona-Secoya subsistence activities must he recognized, especially in the current context of competition for access to land which is jeopardizing the future of the group.

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Accession: 002072308

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DOI: 10.1080/03670244.1991.9991178

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