L1 users: 1,650 (2004). Ethnic population: 1,800 (2012 SIL).
Orellana province: south from Tiputini river, including portions of Yasuní National Park; Pastaza province: Arajuno and Pastaza cantons including a small group near Puyo community; Napo province; eastern jungle between Napo and Curaray rivers.
The language is considered to be endangered due to emerging Huaorani-Quichua bilingualism brought about by mixed marriages and bilingual education programs taught by Quichua teachers who do not speak Huaorani (Crevels 2007). All ages. A few also use Napo Quichua [qvo], Northern Pastaza Quichua [qvz], Shuar [jiv]. A few also use Tena Lowland Quichua [quw], mostly those who are married to Quichua and their children. Also use Spanish [spa].
Latin script [Latn].
Mixed marriage families include mostly Quichua but also Shuar [jiv] and Záparo [zro] individuals who rely upon Spanish [spa] for communication (2015 P. Kelley). Spanish is more likely to extinguish the language because the mixed marriages tend to use both languages plus the attraction to Spanish-speaking towns and impact by non-Waorani teachers who are aggressive in denigrating Waorani (2015 J. Yost). Traditional religion, Christian.