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Barbrooke Grubb’s An Unknown People in an Unknown Land

Wilfrid Barbrooke Grubb [1865-1930], An Unknown People in an Unknown LandThis is Barbrooke Grubb’s own account of the life and customs of the Lengua Indians of Paraguay, among whom he works for over twenty years. This book is in the public domain.

Wilfrid Barbrooke Grubb [1865-1930], An Unknown People in an Unknown Land. An Account of the Life and Customs of the Lengua Indians of the Paraguayan Chaco, With Adventures and Experiences During Twenty Years’ Pioneering and Exploration Amongst Them. London: Seeley, Service & Co. Ltd., 1925. Hbk. pp.330. [Click to download complete book in PDF]


  • Preface
  1. Rumour
  2. Dangers of Entrance
  3. Into the Unknown
  4. Early Experiences
  5. Origin of the Chaco Tribes
  6. Primitive Indian Life
  7. Arts and Industries
  8. Hunting
  9. Travel
  10. War
  11. Religion
  12. Shade-Land
  13. Dreams
  14. Superstitions
  15. Wizards and Witchcraft
  16. Burial Rites
  17. Rescue of a Child
  18. Feasts
  19. Indian Socialism
  20. General Characteristics
  21. Morals
  22. System of Dealing with Indians
  23. Teacher and Pupil
  24. Infanticide and Other Evils
  25. Murderous Attack
  26. In Danger of Burial Alive
  27. Poit’s Defence and Fate
  28. Final Struggle of the Witch-Doctor
  29. ‘Twixt Old and New
  30. Christianity and Heathenism
  • Appendix
  1. The Chaco, Its Tribes, Expeditions and Discoveries
  2. Geological, Structures, Climate, Fauna and Flora of the Chaco
  3. Language
  4. Outside Testimony
  • Index


It js prophesied that during the next decade the attention of the world will be turned to South America as markedly as it has been directed to the Far East in this. There are undoubtedly substantial grounds for such a forecast. The natural wealth of the Continent is unquestioned, and rapid developments have taken place of recent years. But with few exceptions-in particular, that of the linking of the east and west coasts by the completion of the Trans-Andine Railway-these developments are confined to the coast-line of the Continent. Though some of its mighty rivers are navigable for thousands of miles, yet much of the interior is still shrouded in mystery. Exploring expeditions have had to encounter impassable and malarial swamps, impenetrable forests, unnavigable rivers, and hostile tribes of Indians, and have for the most part ended in disaster. [Continue reading]

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