National Geographic : 1962 Jan
Innocent of clothing except for beads bestowed by their friend and guest, Harald Schultz, Suya Indians in a bark canoe set out on a fishing trip. Robnd6 plies the stern paddle. Chief Pentoti directs in the center. Youth in bow, being unmarried, wears no lip disk. dians of the region and won their devotion. Yes, they say, it is true that the Suya came down the river, making signs of peace, and that they may come again. They recognize my serious purpose and will not object to my joining the Suya for a time to study their way of life. Days pass, and my coworker Udo Loew arrives with an outboard motor. Now we both wait impatiently for the Suya. Soon the rainy season will set in, threatening to ground the little Piper, and we shall have to depart. 120 And then one day a voice rings out: "There come the Suya!" Far up the river five boats have appeared. Three are of bark; the others are hollowed-out tree trunks. In them ride some of the strangest looking human beings it has been my fortune to see. The grown men wear in the lower lip a large wooden disk, dyed red, which gives them an odd, ducklike appearance. Round white plugs - made of twisted strands of palm leaf wound into tight spirals - distend their ear lobes in similar fashion.