Marinawa in Peru

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Summing up their history, we can say that approximately 40 years ago the group left their nomadic style of life for a semi-nomadic life. Upon leaving their home area, they entered into warfare with the
Sharanawa people and little by little began to move to the headwaters of the Purús River until they neared the border with Brazil.

They settled in seven communities within the Purús province. Their close cousins still live as nomads who live without salt, bread and even clothes. They are voluntarily uncontacted and isolated.

Where Are they Located?

They live in the Ucayali department of the Purús province in Peru. Six of their communities lie within the borders of Peru: Bola de Oro, Progreso, tres Bolas, Sinaí, Katay, Naranjal and one community (Tabanal) is located in Brazil even though they are considered Peruvian. In total, they are about 400 inhabitants spread out among these communities. Some live among other neighboring people groups.

What Are Their Lives Like?

They live by hunting jungle animals, fishing and also from their small fields of plantain and yucca. This is the basis of their diet and also their activities. Some of the older women plant cotton for weaving their hammocks. They also create some pottery such as pots and plates, hearkening back to their nomadic existence in the mountains.

They know very well who each of their relatives are, though many of them do not know their birth date and some cannot identify a last name.

Curiously, when they hunt, the one who is successful in catching prey gives the animal to the one who was unsuccessful.

More than 90% of them cannot read or write. Their language is recognized officially as an unwritten one. However, unofficially they have a script and there are plans to teach some of their leaders how to utilize the script in the coming year. Their grammar is being finished so that the New Testament may be translated into their language.

Their ancestral enemies are the Sharanawas because they have looked down on the group since they ceased to live as nomads.

What Are Their Beliefs?

They do not worship a specific deity. However, their lives are dominated by spirits called "ñushi". They greatly fear these spirits which present themselves in several forms. They are animists.

What Are Their Needs?

They need medicines for sicknesses such as tuberculosis, anemia, chronic malnutrition, skin fungus, gastritis, UTA and parasites. Clean water wells are needed as well as better kitchens. They lack education and need a long-term education project, a training center for teachers and computer skills. Also needed is help in developing business opportunities. The building of a church and the translation of the Bible are also important needs.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Marinawa in Peru.

* Pray they will have their needs met in good time.
* Pray for the completion of the Mastanawa grammar.
* Pray for more Christians who will desire to work with them in the area of health, education and technical development.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

People Name General Marinawa
People Name in Country Marinawa
World Population 1,100
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 4
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 6  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed
Alternate Names Chandinahua; Marinahua; Sharanahua
People ID 14894
ROP3 Code 108915
Country Peru
Region America, Latin
Continent South America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Madre de Dios and Ucayali regions: upper Purús river area.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Peru
Region America, Latin
Continent South America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Madre de Dios and Ucayali regions: upper Purús river area..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

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Ethnologue Language Map

Primary Language Sharanahua (600 speakers)
Language Code mcd   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Sharanahua (600 speakers)
Language Code mcd   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Sharanahua

Primary Language:  Sharanahua

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1973-2002)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1996-2008)
Bible-Complete No
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Diospan Tsain
Text / Printed Matter Online Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Subdivision: Roman Catholic
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 10.00 %)
70.00 %
Ethnic Religions
30.00 %
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 Gilmar y Noemí Rivas Flores 
Profile Source Anonymous  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more