Archive for the 'Von den Steinen’s Xingu' Category

The Xingu in the 19th Century

In 1882, a young German ethnologist was the first non-Indian to navigate the length of the Xingu. He started on the Batovi, one of the smaller tributaries, which he named after the then governor of the area.

The Heart of Brazil expedition will follow most of the same route, starting from the point where the Batovi meets the Ronuro and the Culuene to form the Xingu. Our starting point is on the Culuene, the longest of the tributaries which make up the headwaters.

Von den Steinen was a remarkable man. In the stiff, formal days when Queen Victoria was on the throne of England, he struck out with two German colleagues, accompanied by a small detachment of Brazilian soldiers, to discover a route from Cuiaba to the mouth of the Xingu. Along the way, he visited several Indian tribes, many of whom had never before seen a white man. His account of the journey is full of a young man’s passion and vitality, and betrays a deep love of adventure and respect for the indigenous people he met. It is fascinating how, in so many repects, his observations remain as true today as they were then.

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Welcome to the Heart of Brazil Expedition News

Hello and welcome. We will be using this news site for two purposes; first, to keep anyone who is interested in the expedition up to date with progress as we prepare for the expedition; second, to pass on background information in a series of bite-sized chunks.

To get the best from the site, we suggest that you go first to the ‘pages’ on the tabs above or in the menu on the right; we will be adding information to each page regularly. The information will first be posted in the ‘blog’ section, then transferred to the pages, so the pages are ordered oldest to newest and the ‘blog’ is newest to oldest. By using the ‘categories’ on the right to browse the ‘blog’ posts, you can read any posts that haven’t been transferred to the pages in a more relevant order.

We are new to this process, so things will probably take a while to settle down. Please bear with us until they do.

Patrick and Sue Cunningham