Jívaro Indians, a primitive tribe living in the jungles of the upper Amazon basin, in eastern Ecuador and northern Peru. They hunt, fish, and raise corn, beans, and bananas. The Jivaro Indians are composed of small groups that sometimes war against outsiders and each other. Their war weapons are spears and blowguns with poisoned darts.
The Jívaros became one of the most studied tribes of South America because of their religious practice of taking and shrinking heads of their enemies and violators of moral codes. In this process, the skull bones are first removed, then the skin is sewed up in back. Finally, by heating, the head is shrunk to about the size of a large orange; it still preserves its human expression. About 10,000 Jivaro live in Ecuador.