a group of South American Indian tribes mostly in Peru, but also in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Brazil. They live in the humid equatorial forest regions of the upper Amazon and the upper right tributaries of the Amazon. The population was estimated at 250,000 in the mid-1960’s. Among the many tribes are the Mayoruna, Remo, Maue, Setebo, Pacaguara, Ararawa, Cashinawa, and Contanawa. The Panoans speak various languages of the Panoan family.
Christian influence has drastically altered the distinctive local traditional beliefs of the Panoans. The tribes are now at different stages in the development and disintegration of clan tribal relations. The chief occupations are slash-and-burn cultivation, hunting, turtling, and fishing. Several tribes, including the Mayoruna, live mainly by gathering, and others are nomadic river peoples living on boats. Some Panoans work as hired laborers on plantations and in road construction. Some barter turtle oil, salted fish, wax, honey, cacao, and other goods.