Last surviving male member of Amazonian tribe dies from Covid

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The last male member of an indigenous Amazonian tribe has died from Covid-19, marking the permanent loss of his people’s traditions and rituals.

Aruká Juma, of the Juma tribe, died on 17 February due to complications caused by the virus in a hospital in Pôrto Velho, the capital of state of Rondônia in western Brazil.

According to reports, the coronavirus crisis has hit indigenous people in the Amazon hard, believed to have been spread by non-indigenous people entering their areas to carry out illegal activities such as logging and mining.

Mr Juma, who was believed to be aged between 86 and 90, had three daughters, all of whom married into a different tribe and will be unable to carry on his lineage as it is descended from fathers.

In the 18th century, there were an estimated 15,000 people in the Juma tribe, but the numbers shrank drastically due to disease and massacres.

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