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Korubo

In 1999 on a trip along the Ituí and Itaquaí Rivers in the Yavari Valley of Brazil, I had the opportunity to join Jens Glüsing, a Latin America correspondent for the news magazine Der Spiegel. We were accompanied Sydney Possuelo, “The Last Adventurer of the Amazon”. As the Director of the National Indian Foundation of Brazil (FUNAI), he was in charge of managing the relationships with uncontacted indigenous peoples.

At that time, a group of around 23 people from the population of Korubo who live in the valley had split. The were seeking contact with one of the FUNAI stations as they were dealing with many health problems, mainly Malaria.

Our contact with them was late afternoon and very short. To meet entirely innocent, ingenuous and undependable people was an indescribable experience for me, something that stays with you forever. The jungle is their habitat; some hunting tools guarantee their food and meat with the seeds they collect are the basis of their existence. The sensation of joy that comes from within and their way of being, left me profoundly perplexed….the innocence we have already lost.

Because of the time, I had to use a small flash with my camera. The Korubos, would try to catch the small “circles of light” from the flash and would scream with laughter when they saw their hands where empty, like a game.

 

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