Theodore Roosevelt > Through the Brazilian Wilderness > Page 244
Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  Through the Brazilian Wilderness.  1914.

Page 244
band, and accompanied by a small child, was with them. At the village there were a number of men, women, and children. Although as completely naked as the others we had met, the members of this band were more ornamented with beads, and wore earrings made from the inside of mussel-shells or very big snail-shells. They were more hairy than the ones we had so far met. The women, but not the men, completely remove the hair from their bodies—and look more, instead of less, indecent in consequence. The chief, whose body was painted red with the juice of a fruit, had what could fairly be styled a mustache and imperial; and one old man looked somewhat like a hairy Ainu, or perhaps even more like an Australian black fellow. My companion told me that this probably represented an infusion of negro blood, and possibly of mulatto blood, from runaway slaves of the old days, when some of the Matto Grosso mines were worked by slave labor. They also thought it possible that this infiltration of African negroes might be responsible for the curious shape of the bigger huts, which were utterly unlike their flimsy, ordinary shelters, and bore no resemblance in shape to those of the other Indian tribes of this region; whereas they were not unlike the ordinary beehive huts of the agricultural African negroes. There were in this village several huts or shelters open at the sides, and two of the big huts. These were of closely woven thatch, circular in outline, with a rounded dome, and two doors a couple of feet high opposite each other, and no other opening. There were fifteen or twenty people to each hut. Inside were their implements and utensils, such as wicker baskets


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