Current Amerindian societies in the Venezuelan lowlands do not reflect the complex interethnic organization that once prevailed on the lower Orinoco. That organization was based on a sophisticated subsistence specialization such as the exchange of horticultural products for fish and game. This article analyzes the demographic characteristics and social organization of the area and attempts to disentangle the intricate network of Waraoan and non-Waraoan speakers there during early colonial times.

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