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Dwindling Tribe Seeks Groom for Teen-age Girl

December 26, 1993

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) _ An Indian tribe whose last warrior was killed by a panther in the Amazon rain forest is looking for someone to marry a teen-aged girl and keep the culture from dying out completely.

Two elderly couples and three young girls are the only remaining members of the Juma Indians of the western Amazon rain forest, the Jornal do Brasil reported Sunday.

After 35-year-old Kare, the last male young enough to father a child, was killed by a panther, the neighboring Parantins tribe offered to marry the eldest Juma girl, who is 14. But the proposal was rejected.

″The Juma elders felt that the Parantins Indians are too much influenced by civilization,″ a National Indian Foundation representative, Adolpho Kilian Kesselring, told the newspaper.

″Instead the elders are looking for a young white not only to marry and mate with one of the three girls but to be taught by the elders the way of the Jumas, and to then help repopulate the tribe,″ Kesselring said.

In 1940 there were 300 Jumas. Since then, the tribe was the victim of four massacres by loggers, the last one, in 1973, killing 31.

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