Iskonawa Subsistence

The Iskonawa people carry out productive activities on a small scale, aimed solely at satisfying the needs of family groups.

A traditional activity of great importance is hunting, which is carried out exclusively by men. Hunting is an activity that intensifies during the season when the rivers rise.

Fishing is another activity carried out individually and sometimes collectively by the men and women, while agriculture and gathering are considered the main occupations of the women.


The elaboration of bow and arrows is exclusive to men and they are used to hunt various animals that contribute to the food security of the community. Among them are the Wanin, which are arrows for hunting animals such as monkeys, birds, and the añuje. They are made from pijuayo, deer bones and are tied with cotton threads.

The Kespin or arrow made from ungurahui, is a medium size that was used to hunt smaller animals, such as birds. Also, there is the Koa, an arrow made of Isana, which is introduced with a long and smooth tip made from Wanin or Pijuayo. The intersection between both parts is covered by corn leaves and tied with cotton threads. It is characterized by a set of two, three or four small, sharp points which are attached to the larger point, depending on whether they were intended to hunt birds or other animals (Rodriguez, 2020).

Designs are also applied to the arrow tips, used to pacify the animals they were intending to hunt, thus increasing the effectiveness of their use (Rodriguez, 2020). (Rodriguez, 2020).

"My grandfather made arrows, I had hunted with him several times, I had seen that to hunt añujes short arrows were used, made of strong canes, but the tip was long, with that they hunted large animals (...) for example, to hunt a monkey it was lighter, he was able to get it out, the arrows were longer so that the monkey would not escape. My grandfather made poison with plants in the tips of the arrows, because animals don't die just like that. I used to see my grandfather make a hiding place, we call it Maspu de la hoja de shebon or irapay, and we hunted there".