Most weddings with the Huaoranis take place in the period January till April. In this period there is an abundance of fruits and also animals are healthy and fat because of all the fruits.
This is a good time for the couples to start, because the women are very healthy due to all this good food and so they are also very fertile.
So by the time the babies are born, there are new fruits and fat animals, cause in November there are also fruits to eat.
3 – 10 children per couple (sometimes 6 – 8 – 10 – 12 per family)
Very low stillborns or deaths of babies
Not many children die either.
They start having babies when they start having periods, so with 13, 14 year of age.
Sometimes they have their final babies at the age of 40 or 45.
The Huaorani ladies are able to prevent having babies with having special tea, like of the Cruz Caspi tea, but they also have other plants who also prevent them for having babies.
They all have 1 man – 1 woman, except for the chief, he can have up to 7 or as many as he likes.
They used to pair up for live. But these days, the younger generations, sometimes, when they have an arranged marriage they have two or three children the first couple of years. So when a girl is 15, she might have already 2 kids. But then when she is around 23 – 25, both are still very young and nowadays couples split up to find someone they actually love to be with.
Especially the older ones are very faithful.
When they die they are buried in their own house and this house will be burned. They move to another spot and built another house.
In the culture of Huaoranis death is not a natural thing. So if somebody died, there had to be revenge or at least retribution. A death was never natural, so when someone died, there also had to die another one as well. Till not too long ago, when someone died, they went to another tribe to kill another person there, because they must have been the reason for this death.
These days this has changed, they don’t kill for a death anymore, although sometimes it is still better to stay out of their way when someone had died.
For example Kemperi himself, the Shaman, former chief of Bameno, now far above 100 years of age, had died some 6 years ago. We had plans on bringing a small group of travelers to Bameno soon after the day we got this horrible and sad news, so we had to cancel that right away. Kemperi is a very well-known and incredible respected Huaorani man. You will also find him in all books about Huaoranis with his incredible charismatic appearance. It was too dangerous to get anywhere nearby the village or other family members, not knowing if they were going to be looking for some kind of vengeance somewhere or somehow.
After his death in Bameno, they had placed him on the ground in the middle of his house and started mourning. He died in the evening and the whole next day they dug the grave in his house and got ready for the burial. All this time he was laying there, without breathing or sensible pulse.
coming with tourists
The next morning, when they wanted to lay him in his grave and light the house on fire, by a miracle, he raised his arms and opened his eyes. He just got up and went on living. Till this day.
Nobody could explain how come he was apparent death. Maybe it was some kind of very deep trance he was in, because as a shaman he goes into trances often. He does this with the help of Ayahuasca, but he can also do it without. Sometimes he turns into a jaguar for instance, this can even happen when he is in a canoe or other unexpected place.
Anyway, because it was about one of the elderly, and especially the well-known and deeply respected Shaman and former chief Kemperi, people did not know if there would be any kind of wish for retribution. In former days this was what always happened.