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a group of American Indian tribes (Arapaso, Wana-na, Piratapuyo, Tuyuka, Desana, Bara, Tucano, and others) living in northwestern Brazil and in the adjoining regions of Colombia. The total population of the Tucano is estimated at 1,000–2,000.
The Tucano speak Tucanoan languages. Animistic beliefs are widespread. Their main occupations are seminomadic slash-and-fallow cultivation of cassava and indian corn, fishing, and, to a lesser extent, hunting. Most of the men periodically work for hire as gatherers of rubber and other forest products. The Tucano are divided into patrilineal clans, each of which occupies a large communal dwelling known as a maloca. Sister-exchange is the typical form of marriage.