Brazilian authorities to search for uncontacted Indians in Amazon

by Survival International on Monday, October 26, 2009 at 7:45am

Tumá and Tupá (baby) Matis, Rio Itui, Vale do Javari, Brazil.© © Fiona Watson/Survival

Brazil’s Indian affairs department, FUNAI, has announced it will embark on a two month expedition to search for uncontacted Indians in the Amazon rainforest.

The expedition in the Javari Valley indigenous territory in the western Amazon will start in November.

This area is home to almost 4,000 Korubo, Mayoruna, Marubo, Matis, Kanamari and Kulina Indians, the majority of whom have been contacted over the last decades. FUNAI thinks that more uncontacted indigenous groups could be living in this densely forested area than anywhere else in Brazil.

Foto: Reprodução

Elias Bigio, coordinator of FUNAI’s uncontacted Indians unit, said, ‘We do not know how these people live, which language they speak, how they hunt or about their culture.’ He said that FUNAI’s policy is not to contact them but to confirm their existence and to map out their lands.  For more information go to:


About carlos

I'm a curious person, of reasonable intellect, "on the beach" (retired) and enjoying my interest in anthropology, language, civil rights, and a few other areas. I've been a hippie/student/aerospace tech writer in the '60s, a witness to the Portuguese revolution in the ‘70s, a defense test engineer and witness to the Guatemalan genocide in the '80s, and a network engineer for an ISP in the '90s. Now I’m a student and commentator until my time is up. I've spent time under the spell of the Mesoamerican pyramids and the sweet sound of the Portuguese language. I've lived in Europe, traveled in Brazil, Central America, Iceland, New Zealand, and other places. My preferred mode of travel is with a backpack and I eat (almost) anything local. Somehow, many of the countries I have been to have had civil unrest (for which I was not responsible). I'm open to correspond with anyone who might share my liberal, humanist interests. I live in San Buenaventura, California.
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