Physical stature of adult Tsimane' Amerindians, Bolivian Amazon in the 20th century

Ricardo A. Godoy*, William R. Leonard, Victoria Reyes-García, Elizabeth Goodman, Thomas McDade, Tomás Huanca, Susan Tanner, Vincent Vadez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


We examine the association between exposure to the market and Western society on the height of adult Tsimane', a foraging-farming society in the Bolivian Amazon. As with other contemporary native peoples, we find little evidence of a significant secular change in height during 1920-1980. Female height bore a positive association with own schooling and fluency in spoken Spanish and with maternal modern human capital (schooling, writing ability, and fluency in spoken Spanish), but male heights bore no association with parental height or with modern human capital. The absence of a secular change likely reflects the persistence of traditional forms of social organization and production that protect health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-205
Number of pages22
JournalEconomics and Human Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Amazon
  • Amerindians
  • Anthropometrics
  • Bolivia
  • Height
  • Human capital
  • Indigenous populations
  • Nutritional status
  • Physical stature
  • Secular trends
  • Tsimane'

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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