Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Arthur Helweg

Second Advisor

Dr. Larry Israel

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This thesis is an ethno-historical reconstruction of the Siriono from their roots among the Paraguayan Guarani of the 16th century to the present Siriono life styles in eastern Bolivia. A description of the Siriono culture at the time of contact is juxtaposed with analyses of the current varying results of post-contact approaches to directed social change taken by outsiders among the Siriono.

The findings from this study indicate that: (a) to the extent that underdevelopment does exist among the Siriono it is not only the result of contact this century, but began as a process of deculturation long before contact; and (b) the condition of all the Siriono people is not one of underdevelopment. The condition of a particular community, Ibiato, provides an example of post-contact directed social change that succeeded in providing the Siriono with their own identity in Bolivian society.