Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

April 2006


This article provides a review of selected literature of nonhuman primates in the subsistence and symbolism of indigenous lowland South American groups. While few works have focused specifically on the relationship between human and nonhuman primates in Amazonia and the surrounding areas, a number of ethnographic works do incorporate information about the roles of monkeys in varied groups. The section on subsistence focuses on the use of primates as food, including preferences, avoidances, and taboos. The section on symbolism focuses on the role of monkeys in myths, folklore, and in delineating the humanity/animality divide.