National Geographic : 1964 May
Upper Juruena River borders the remote home of the Erigbaagtsa visited by the author. From Cuiaba he rode by truck over savanna and jungle trails to P6rto dos Gauchos, then traveled by boat down the Arinos. He reports the tribe dwindling rapidly and estimates its present numbers at only 300. Thick layers of babassu palm fronds thatch a maloca, single-room home for two Indian families and a bachelor. Larger dwellings may shelter five or more families. Entrances stay tightly closed to bar bloodsucking flies. To escape the gnat-size pests, the Erigbaagtsa spend much of their lives indoors, ven turing into daylight only to hunt and fish, bathe, and fetch wood and water. Here Radiokoobee, bidding his son stay home, sets out for a hunt in the jungle. Smiling mother dandles baby in a clearing outside the maloca. Dusk draws the Indians outdoors for play and gossip. Small calabashes, nuts, seeds, and 740 red berries of the necklace tree, Ormosia coccinea, serve as beads.