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The Achuar are an Amazonian community of some 18,500 individuals along either side of the border in between Ecuador and Peru. As of the early 1970s, the Achuar were one of the last of the Jivaroan groups still generally unaffected by outside contact. The name Achuar means “the people of the aguaje palm”. Jivaroans, of which The Achuar are a sub-group, and ascribe to a particular form of the pan-Amazonian animistic cosmological phenomenon known as 'Amazonian perspectivism, in which many animals and plants are understood to possess human souls, although their bodily appearance is different. Animals with human souls are significant for the Achuar, as they represent a form of socialized nature. The only way for a hunter to be successful is to live in harmony with the game he hunts and with its guardian spirits, known as kuntiniu nukuri (literally: game mothers). The hunter's relationship with both the prey and their game mothers is personal and cultivated over a lifetime, and these relationships are characterized principally as affinal. He must follow these two rules: taking these animals with moderation and showing respect to the animals he kills. Both of these rules of hunting are codified in cautionary myths.
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