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.
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: