The Hiwi indians are a traditional hunter-gatherer tribe living in the savannas of western Venezuela and eastern Columbia. In earlier ethnographic accounts they are referred to as “Cuiva”, the derogatory label used by local criollo populations. The hunting and gathering groups of Hiwi are ethnically distinct from their close linguistic relatives, the Guahibo. Guahiboan groups inhabit a large area along the borders of Venezuela and Columbia on both sides of the Meta and Orinoco river drainages. Because Guahiboan groups are small scale horticulturalists, it seems likely that foraging Hiwi groups have simply been pushed into headwaters regions with poor soils or drainage, and reverted to hunting and gathering for subsistence. Nevertheless in the 1980s the Hiwi were fully dependent on hunting and gathering and had no memory of ever having been an agricultural people.