The present-day people known as the Marubo are the result of the coming together of several Pano- speaking groups devastated by the exploitation of rubber tappers and loggers. United under the leadership of the shaman João Tuxaua (+1996), they began to live and resist together, maintaining their original identities, each with names similar to those of other ethnic backgrounds of the same linguistic group. Marubo communities are organized around a large, oblong-shaped communal maloca where the families live, in the center of a clearing from which paths lead to the surrounding forest and river. Other smaller houses, which are scattered around serve as storage for objects and for resting during the day. Anyone who arrives in a Marubo village, as Mirella Ricciardi did in 1990, is struck by the exuberance of the forest preserved immediately around the malocas, with a far-away surrounded by countryside. Back then, the Marubo were already facing illegal invasions. They were fighting for the recognition of their land, and it would take another seven years before the Terra Indígena Vale do Javari [Vale do Javari Indigenous Land was demarcated. As with all indigenous areas in the country, Vale do Javari has been the site of many attacks in recent years, culminating in the deaths of indigenist Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips.
All photos belong to the Vanishing Amazon collection, 1990 Mirella Ricciardi / Vanishing Africa Ltd ©