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Kană Matis. Note the facial tattoos on her cheeks that imitate the whiskers of a jaguar.  In addition, note the linear tattoos on her forehead.  All Matis women and men are tattooed when they are about fifteen years old in a ceremony in which men tattoo the teenagers.  Being tattooed is an important rite of passage in the life of a Matis Indian, and the ceremony typically lasts for two weeks.  Unfortunately, Kană Matis died shortly after this photograph was taken.  Many indigenous Amazonians such as the Matis Indians do not live that long on average, with most dying before reaching their forties, rather than their eighties as in most developed countries.  Foreign diseases such as malaria and hepatitis are the principal causes of mortality among the Matis Indians and neighboring tribes in the Javari River Valley on the border between Brazil and Peru.


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