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Claudio and Orlando Villas Boas left Sao Paulo in 1941 to join the Roncador-Xingu expedition, which explored central Brazil. They spent the rest of their lives researching the lives and culture of the Xingu Indians and defending them against the encroaching and dislocating effects of "civilisation". Xingu is an encyclopedia of observation and research into the ways of the Xingu Indians, their history, oral traditions and their myths. It is also a compendium of information on the plant and animal life of the region.