National Geographic : 1979 Jan
Grosso and nearby Rondonia Territory. Only recently "pacified" by FUNAI and dedicated missionaries, the Wasusus were living not on the high, open plateau, as do most of the Nambicuaras, but at its base in the dense jungle along the upper Galera Riv er (map, page 67). I know of only one other Nambicuara group that prefers the forest to the cool and windy savanna, but there may be more. Just when we civilizados think we have found the last unknown tribe in the vast jungle of Brazil, someone poking into the wilderness will be greeted by a shower of arrows fired from some place hitherto be lieved to be uninhabited. From our very first meeting the Wasusus and I became friends, and I returned several times to visit them. On one of these visits I found the group in despair. From two of my special Indian friends, Vai6co and his wife, whom we called Barbara, I learned why. Threat to Wasusu Homeland FUNAI, then under different leadership, had told the Wasusus they were to be moved from their home in the jungle to a new Nam bicuara reservation on the savanna about a day's journey away. Finally, the dreaded resettlement took place. The reason for moving the Indians was the usual one: The government had turned their (Continued on page 68) Back in the jungle after the government aborted its effort to resettle them on nearby savanna, Wasusu men celebrate with tra ditional flutes (left). Beside a boundary marker, a tribe member shows Brazilian archeologist Eurico Miller territory re turned to the Indians.