Matses in Peru





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Matses are a tribe of Peru and Brazil in the Amazon. They speak Matses and Spanish and Portuguese is also spoken. They live between the Javari and Galvez rivers. Many live in the Matses Indigenous Reserve. They hunt and sell meat to help them earn a living. Matses means 'people' in their language. They are also called Mayoruna.

At the present time they are having problems with poachers and illegal logging. It has been said that their living conditions have gotten worse and that they could become extinct.

The Matses know about animal and plant life where they are and rely on this in the forests. They hunt with bow and arrows. Their religion is animist and they worship human and animal spirits. They were first to make contact with the outside world when SIL missionaries came to them in the late 1960's.

The Matses practice polygamy and like cross-cousin marriages. There was conflict between them and the Peruvian government but they are at peace with them now. Each village has its own chief. There are difficulties in them getting medicines. Maybe medical staff who are Christians could help them in this area.

Prayer Points

* Pray that the contact they had with SIL missionaries in the past will help bring
the Matses to Jesus Christ.
* Pray that the troubles they are having will lead them to salvation.
* Pray that the Matses will not become extinct.


Profile Source:   Anonymous  

People Name General Matses
People Name in Country Matses
Population in Peru 1,700
World Population 2,600
Countries 2
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Matse, Matse's, Maxirona, Mayoruna
Affinity Bloc Latin-Caribbean Americans
People Cluster Amazon
People Name General Matses
Ethnic Code MIR39d
People ID 13606
Country Peru
Region Central and South America
Continent South America
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Yaquerana.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010

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Enthologue Language Map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Matses (1,700)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Matses 1,700
For Primary Language: Matses

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1976-1988)
New Testament Yes   (1993-2008)
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible: Esuquidistu Chuiquin Tantiamete Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film Film / Video
Online Bible text (Scripture Earth) Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.20 %)
5.00 %
Ethnic Religions
95.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
100.0 %
Photo Source: Instituto Lingüístico de Verano  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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