Photograph of a Korubo woman named "Maya" and her family.
Maya has been reported
to be the leader of the only Korubos who have made contact with the outside
world. They live just across the river from a Brazilian government FUNAI
outpost located at the confluence of the Itaquai and Itui Rivers. The
function of the outpost is to prevent outsiders from entering the indigenous
reserve set aside by the Brazilian government for indigenous people of the
Javari River Valley (Vale do Javari). Unbelievably, Maya was
involved in the killing of a FUNAI official. According to reports by the FUNAI,
two of their officials requested that Maya and the other Korubos living with her
return a tarpaulin that had been loaned to them. Maya then led the FUNAI
officials to an area where she said the tarpaulin was located while Korubos men
were waiting in the bushes for them. She grabbed the arms of one the
victims (Raimundo Batista) while the Korubos men hit him in his head with clubs.
The Korubos involved in the attack later stated to FUNAI head Sidney Possuelo
that the reason for killing the FUNAI official was that, “We didn’t know you