Stakes all on Sex -

Pretty young school teacher plans perilous expedition in search of lost Indian Tribe.

(San Jose, CA) c.1929 Face powder is more efficient than gun powder black tresses will turn more arrows than armor, and a feminine figure is more protection than an army against the poisoned darts of Brazilian Indians.

This is the opinion of Bessie Steen, pretty San Jose school teacher, who will start this spring to search for a lost tribe of Indians, believed by ethnologists to be the most primitive in the world.

Party after party of explorers, in search of this lost tribe, have been turned back by the poisoned arrows of the bloodthirsty Karajas who frequent the heart of the Brazilian jungles. Colonel Fawcett, famed explorer, made the attempt not long ago, but poisoned arrows killed him.

Twenty years ago the lost tribe was driven far into the jungle by the Karajas, who killed many whites and captured one woman who is today the wife of a Karaja. She has told of her lost people, and from her Miss Steen hopes to obtain further valuable information.

Death and disease have been the lot of explorers who have pushed toward the Xingu river country, where the lost tribe is now thought to be living.

The way is beset by stinging insects, lions, giant snakes and other terrors of the jungle. Worse are the pioson arrows. Clouds of them spring from the most unexpected places, fired by hostile natives. Just one penetrating the skin will cause death.

But Miss Steen is of the opinion that her sex will protect her. She believes that when natives see a white woman wearing dresses, long hair, and going lightly armed, they will withhold their fire.

To this end she is letting her black bobbed hair grow. "Adding the feminine touch" to exploring she calls it. "though probably the Indians won't appreciate what it means to a white woman today to let her hair grow," she adds with a smile.

Miss Steen has planned her clothing with the protective end in view. She will wear a cotton shirt heavy enough to be practically insect proof. The shirt will be tucked into whipcord riding trousers. It will be tightly buttoned up to the neck and has long sleeves with elastic at the cuffs. She will wear gauntletted gloves, a helmet with mosquito bar reaching to the shoulders and high boots. To identify her sex a skirt will be worn when she reaches the dangerous country.

An experience three years ago with the Botocudo Indians in Brazil has given her confidence, She was the first white woman to be viewed by the tribe and they expressed great curiosity about her hair, complexion and clothes. She hopes that the Karajas and other hostile tribes will be similarly charmed-that they will let her live to bring interesting scientific data into the world of civilization.

Her Itinerary.

The Xingu is Miss Steen's goal. Her proposed route is from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paula to Guyaz by train and auto. She will then have her equipment packed to the Araguaya river, travel down it in native canoes to the Tapirape river, up the Tapirape to its source, and from there to the Xingu-the home of the lost tribe.

An Indian chief has been employed as a guide, while a negress who speaks the various dialects will be her chief aide. The negress is to be picked up at Leopoldina where an English family lives on the Araguaya, far from civilization.

 

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