from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A member of a South American Indian people of eastern Ecuador and northeast Peru.
  • n. The language of this people.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The Mendez cousins on my father's side are over by the food, the little ones with their straight black mop tops and wooden-bowl haircuts, the adults having gone to great lengths to thicken and tease up their "Jivaro" hair.

    Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

  • The seven cultures listed on Pinker's chart are the Jivaro, two branches of Yanomami, the Mae Enga, Dugum Dani, Murngin, Huli, and Gebusi.

    Christopher Ryan: Pinker's Dirty War on Prehistoric Peace

  • If advertising wants to avoid a Jivaro-like downsizing, it needs to listen to the clock: It's ticking away.

    Why is digital advertising so lousy? Industry is too smug to innovate.

  • According to a 1950 article in Der Spiegel, Ignatz Wegener, a prisoner in the Buchenwald medical ward, helped prepare the heads after reading about the process in a book about the South American Jivaro tribe.

    The Lampshade

  • But then you spy the Jivaro Shrunken Head (it's real, it's the size of a tennis ball); conjoined piglets in a jar; an assload of taxidermy, including a gorgeous zebra head; giant's rings ...

    Boing Boing: September 29, 2002 - October 5, 2002 Archives

  • A recent beautiful example of a writer, in this case an anthropologist, locating a native culture more or less at the last minute and being adequate — intellectually, morally, and physically — to grasping something of it just as it disappears is Philippe Descola in his smart, sad, elegant book The Spears of Twilight, about the Achuar, a Jivaro people of the Ecuadorean Amazon: a book to read and reread.

    Now Voyager

  • In the lowlands of Ecuador, Jivaro warriors traditionally used infusions of guayusa to purify themselves and their families before shrinking the heads of their slain enemies.

    One River

  • Yet, when all is said and done, the patent will be taken out by Hoffmann-La Roche or Monsanto or Eli Lilly - not by the Jivaro, not even by Brazil.

    Chapter 9

  • In South America the Jivaro, or Shuar—the famed headhunters of eastern Ecuador—give a potion called maikua to young boys when at the age of six they must seek their souls.

    The Serpent and the Rainbow

  • In their primitive condition they resembled the neighbouring Jivaro and Pano, though of less fierce and warlike temper.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 11: New Mexico-Philip


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.