Karl von den Steinen (1855-1929) was a German physician, explorer and ethnologist who did pioneering work on the anthropology of Brazil's indigenous peoples. This book, published in 1886, describes the first of his two expeditions to the previously uncharted Xingu River. It begins with observations of colonial society in the coastal cities, an economic overview, and a summary of European exploration in the region. The main part of the book mixes sustained narrative and descriptive passages recounting the party's experiences with day by day journal notes on topography, geology, flora, fauna and population, incorporating weather records, river depth, arrival and departure times, and other brief but telling details (Viele Moskitos.). It includes substantial ethnographic descriptions, consideration of the local languages and their typology, and five glossaries, the most substantial being of Bakairi, for which a grammar sketch is also included. The book is generously illustrated with engravings and three maps.