In the Buffer zone around the Manu National Park, close to the Boca Manu Airstrip, is the community of Diamante, home to around 400 of the Yine people. Another Yine community, called Island of the Valleys, is located at the mouth of the Manu river.
Known for a long a time as the “Piros”, these people now exercise their right to be called by their true name, the Yine. Traditionally, they are navigators of the Urubamba and Ucayali Rivers, living as traders. They also farm yuca, catch fish, and raise livestock.
They are famous for their characteristic geometric designs of their cushmas and cotton bags, as well as for their traditional pottery. Some of these handicrafts are now sold to the tourists who visit the Manu Reserve and they have recently set up the Yine lodge for eco-tourists wishing to visit the area.
They were amongst the principal guides to Rubber Barron Carlos Fitzcarrald in ‘discovering’ the Isthmus across the upper Camisea and Mishagua rivers into the Manu headwaters. He famously employed two hundred rubber tappers and a thousand native guides to portage a small steamship across the narrow land passage, events which were immortalised in Werner Herzog’s 1982 film Fitzcarraldo.