In the heart of the Braniian Jungle

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CBSE Board Class 12 English Un-Solved Passages

Chapter – 3  Reading Comprehension III (Literary Passages)

Read the following passage carefully:

1. In the heart of the Braniian jungle, a few Stone Age tribes people eling to their primitive ways of life. We are in the Javari Valley, one of Brazil’s forbidden zones, huge tracts of jungle set aside by the government for native tribals and prohibited to outsiders. The Javari zone covers more than eight million hectares and forms the frontier with Peru. About 1350 people from a handful of tribes live in this zone in sweltering rain forest. They have little or no knowledge of the outside world and often face off against each other in violent warfare.

2. We are greeted by a pair of Matis tribals, Jumi and Jemi, with tattooed faces, shells plugged into their ear lobes and curved shells thrust through holes in their septums. They work as trackers and guards. We head upriver. The Korubo stand outside a maloca, a high communal straw hut about 15 metres long. The Matis speak a language similar to the lilting high-pitched Korube and act as our interpreters.

3. This clan, numbering just 20, including five couples, a bachelor and nine children, moves between four or five widely dispersed huts as its crops come into season. The Korubo prefer the club to the bow and arrow and were often called “the head bashers” although they call themselves “Dalala”. The clan chieftain is a woman in her mid-forties. Maya has a matronly face and speaks in a girlish voice, but hard eyes tell of a steely nature. By her side is Washman, her eldest daughter and successor. Ta’van, its most powerful warrior, is taller than others, with a wolfish face and glowering eyes. He never relaxes his grip on his war-club.

4. The Karubo eat very well. Their diet includes fish, wild pig, monkey, bird, fruit, manioc and maize. Indeed, the men are as lithe as athletes and there’s no fat on the women. They do practise one chilling custom. Like other Amazon tribals, they sometimes mysteriously kill babies. Apart from battle wounds, the most serious illness they suffer is malaria, which is easily treated. But danger lurks beyond the clearing, especially for the children, in the form of massive anaconda.

5. The warriors place on a small fire a bowl brimming with curure. The Korubo make the syrup by pulping and boiling a woody vine. After stirring the liquid, he dips the tips of dozens of blowpipe darts into it. Curare is a muscle relaxant that causes death by asphyxiation. The men and women work hard for about four or five hours daily and then relax around the maloca, eating, chatting and sometimes singing.

6. Apart from Kerubo, there are at least four other uncontacted Stone Age tribes, each containing upte 400 people, living in the Javari Valley. They are happy living their own way.

Source: Adapted from Paul Raffaele

A. On the basis of your understanding of the passage answer the questions given below by choosing one of the options that follow:

(i) The Javari Valley in Brazil has:

(a) very steep hill sides

(b) mines and minerals.

(c) a network of rivers.

(d) huge tracts of jungles.

(ii)The Stone Age tribes interest the visitors because:

(a) they are camera shy.

(b) they are very innocent.

(c) they are eager to learn modern ways.

(d) they cling to their primitive ways of life.

(iii) The verb form of the word, government in para-1 is:

(a) governor

(b) small pieces of broken glass.

(c) governmental

(d) govern

(iv) The Matis tribals, Jumi and Jemi had adorned themselves with:

(a) shells in their ear lobes and septums.

(b) multicoloured feathers on their heads.

(c) flowery ornamenta

(v) The word ‘relax’ in pars 5 means:

(a) to become calm

(b) to reduce strictness of rules of life.

(c) to take rest

(d) to make less tight.

B. Answer the following questions briefly:

(i) Who inhabit the prohibited zones of Brazil? How do they lead their lives in these rain forests?

(ii) Describe the diet of the Korubo.

(iii) What twin dangers do the Korubo tribals face?

(iv) Why are the Korubo called head bashers?

(v) Apart from battle wounds and illness, what other danger do the Korubo tribes face?

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