Yaruro, Pume in Venezuela

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Yaruro, also called Pume, are a First Nations tribe that lives west of the Oronoco River. Most live in Venezuela but a small number are in neighboring Colombia.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Almost all live in rural areas. Most of their food comes from subsistence agriculture, but they also fish in the river. They grow manioc and corn through basic slash-and-burn agriculture. The Yaruro keep domestic animals such as dogs, chickens and pigs.

They make things needed for the home: water pots, hammocks, mats and baskets. They usually make enough of these goods to trade them in nearby villages and markets.

Men and women have different jobs. Men fish and hunt while women cook, take care of children and find wild tubers. Men also clear land for farms, but either gender can work the fields. The Yaruro have no concept of private ownership of land.

A man can have more than one wife, but the wives are usually sisters. Yaruro girls marry young. They don’t have a formal marriage ceremony; the couple moves in together permanently.

Each Yaruro village has a headman who has little real power. His position isn’t to judge disputes but to announce upcoming events. Yaruro villages are independent from one another.

The Yaruro people try to avoid conflict. They understand the destructive nature of drunkenness, which causes people to injure others and disrupts social harmony.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Yaruro religion is polytheistic, meaning they worship many gods and spirits. They also call upon shamans as religious specialists. The shaman has two roles. One is to guard rocks they call tio ikara, which contain important spirits. His or her second role is that of a healer.

Their most important religious ceremony involves all night singing and dancing to communicate with the spirit world. They do this once or twice a week. They believe that when one dies there is an afterlife where the person joins the spirit world. Most adhere to these traditional beliefs, but there is also a Christian presence among them, especially in Colombia.

What Are Their Needs?

The Yaruro people need enough food to survive all year long. Finding enough food is a constant struggle.

Prayer Points

Pray for Yaruro fellowships to grow and draw others into worshipping the King of kings.

Pray for a spiritual hunger that will draw them to Jesus Christ and none other.

Pray for Yaruro disciples to make more disciples.

Scripture Prayers for the Yaruro, Pume in Venezuela.






Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Yaruro
People Name in Country Yaruro, Pume
Alternate Names Pume
Population this Country 8,600
Population all Countries 8,800
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 2
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 4  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed
People ID 15997
ROP3 Code 110992
ROP25 Code 308961
ROP25 Name Yaruro
Country Venezuela
Region America, Latin
Continent South America
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Mainly eastern Apure state; Bolivar and Guarico states: Apure, Meta, Orinoco, and Sinaruco rivers.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Venezuela
Region America, Latin
Continent South America
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Mainly eastern Apure state; Bolivar and Guarico states: Apure, Meta, Orinoco, and Sinaruco rivers..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.00 %)
10.00 %
Ethnic Religions
90.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Pume (8,600 speakers)
Language Code yae   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Pume (8,600 speakers)
Language Code yae   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Pume

Primary Language:  Pume

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1999)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2016)
Bible-Complete No
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app: Pume YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Pume YouVersion Bibles
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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