Marubo - Orientation

Identification. The Marubo live in the southwest of the state of Amazonas in Brazil. Although "Marubo" may be a word taken from their language or from some other language of the Panoan Family, it is not their autodenomination. They have names for their subgroups but no general tribal name.

Location. The land occupied by the Marubo roughly forms an irregular quadrilateral figure that has its angles at 5°56′ S, 71°32′ W; 5°35′ S, 72°6′ W; 7° S, 73°8′ W; and 7°8′ S, 71°53′ W. The Marubo population is concentrated in the southern third of the region, to which all moved in the middle of the 1900s. The expansion to the north resulted from the creation of two Indian posts by the Fundação Nacional do Índio (the Brazilian National Indian Foundation, FUNAI), one for the Matis Indians on the Rio Ituí and the other for another Indian group and to assist the Marubo on the Rio Curuçá. These rivers run respectively near and along the eastern and western sides of the region, and both are tributaries of the Rio Javari, which marks the frontier between Brazil and Peru. The area varies in elevation between 100 and 300 meters and is covered by tropical rain forest. The year is divided into a heavy rainy season (from October to May) and a not-toomuch-drier season (from June to September). The annual average temperature is around 24° C, and the precipitation during the year is between 225 and 250 centimeters.

Demography. The Marubo numbered 397 in 1975, 462 in 1978, and 594 in 1985, revealing a rapid population increase. It is possible that the Marubo were decimated during the rubber boom at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. After a period of disorganization, they concentrated along the Maronal Brook, from where they began a new demographic and spatial expansion.

Linguistic Affiliation. The Marubo speak a language of the Panoan Family.

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