from: On the traces to the Korubo indians; from: The
night of the indians - the departure od the Kaiowa [orig.: Auf der Suche nach den Korubo-Indianern; aus: Die
Nacht der Indianer - der Aufbruch der Kaiowa]; In:
Norddeutsches Fernsehen N3 [Northern German Television N3],
The film protocol
The Corubos are said to be specially dangerous indios,
living isolated in the Amazonian forests. The Funai (the
indian organisation in Brazil) wants to get contact to them,
but the Korubos refuse any contact.
Starting point of the expedition is Tabatinga in the cocain
triangle of Peru, Brazil and Columbia.
Circumstances in Tabatinga:
Drugs and wood
-- only drug dealing or illegal lumbering brings money for
the indians living there
-- the indios living there have lost their culture and are
-- poverty and alcohol are dominating
-- children are cleaning shoes, but most of the money they
earn they have to give away for taxes
-- the wood from the virgin forest of the corubo indians is
robbed in masses, for starvation wages
-- the bosses reign in the forest, not the government.
Trip to Benjamin Constant
-- Benjamin Constant is a lumbering village, the wood is cut
-- if for lumbering necessary indios are also killed who are fighting
for the trees
-- robber economy is the main profession in Benjamin
-- the trunks on the riverside are waiting for the rainy
season so they will be transported easier to the lumber
The result of the
missionars: The destruction of the cultures in the
-- there are Mairuna indios, Marubo
indios, Coruna indios
-- there is a huge unemployment and poverty dominating
-- add to this the indios become dependent from
clothes [but it's always warm!]
-- money and alcohol are dominating, it's the total
destruction of the cultures.
Casa do Indio [indian house] in Benjamin Constant:
Miserable circumstances - poverty and illnesses
-- the "missionars" built a little hospital
for the indians
-- this hospital has no medicine anymore
-- the children have malaria
-- the indians have an own medicine for the stupefaction, a
frog secretion of a green frog, the secretion is rubbed and
the effect is a trance, womiting and spasms.
The Corubos: So called
cannibals and thiefs who are fighting for themselves -
-- the Corubos murder with cudgels and rumors say they would
-- the Corubos murder other people who are working with the
Funai indian organization
-- the Corubos board ships and murder if possible
-- the Corubos are making civil war against everybody who is
entering their territory
-- the indios in Benjamin Constant say the Corubos are
The indians in Benjamin
hate the Funai indian organization
The indians in Benjamin Constant forecast:
-- the money for the expedition to the Corubos would be
thrown out down the drain
-- the expedition to the Corubos would only take place
because of the ambition of the leader of the expedition, Posuelo, who wants to
be the first one taking contact with the Corubo
-- add to this before starting the Funai
expedition the Corubo send an extra fax that the expedition
would be undesirable, but the Funai is going on with
the expedition under the leadership of Posuelo.
expedition to the Corubo territory on the Yavari river
Posuelo means: When the Funai will expulse the foreign
indians on the Corubo territory, so the Corubos will make
peace with the Funai. So the next steps are these:
-- the expedition is going up the Yavari river, the border
river between Brazil and Peru, until the beginning of the
-- from the border of the Corubo territory on the Funai
orders foreign indians on the Yavari to drive away with
their house boats
-- all the members of the Funai expedition get guns and
-- the Funai installs shields with "no entry" written on it
against lumbering, chazing and fishing up from this point of
the river, so it's a prohibition to work for all foreign
-- in about 1980 the Arara indios also shot on the White
with their arrows.
In the Corubo territory
-- a whole fishing village of foreign indians has to
-- the big fishing cutters have also to disappear
-- but the foreign indians tell that the Corubos have not
lived on the riverside for years...
Posuelo about Corubo indios
The expedition is under way on foot:
-- ananas and bananas along the way would be a good sign
-- a gun or a cudgel along the way would be a bad sign
-- Posuelo wants to force the peace, he pulls the house
boats away, but the house boats are the only thing "which
humans possess here".
The Funai expedition in the
jungle attracts the Corubos
-- the expedition is penetrating the dense jungle
-- there are marks from the Corubos: broken branches
-- the expedition places presents on trees
-- then the expedition is installating a camp, "the gun
always in the reach"
-- there are foot traces detected.
Return to the Yavari river:
-- the expedition is not followed up
-- on the return the expedition can see that the shields with "no entry" written on it are destroyed
-- the lumbermen are going on with their wood smuggling.
A second time in the camp
in the jungle: Corubos accept "civilized goods" - clothes
-- the Corubo show themselves, they are tattooed, naked and
-- the expedition destributes "civilized goods"
-- clothes are destributed
-- commentator: Clothes harm to the indios because they will
not be washed and so there are bacteria concentrated in the
clothes and a vaccination of the indios the Funai has not in
project, so the Funai is spreading illnesses!
Posuelo means that peace would be made
The Corubos murder
a Funai worker - refusal of the "civilization"
Posuelo is wrong: 6 months later a Funai empolyee is slayed
down by a cudgel. The Corubo do not want contact to the
[and all the money is wasted for the expedition...].