any of several indigenous tribes of amerindian peoples who live in the xingu reservation.
there were once more than two million native indians living in the amazon rainforest, but today only about 240,000 survive. most of them were wiped out by western diseases such as influenza and measles. deforestation, farming, and gold prospecting are a threat to the habitat of many tribes, although some, like the xingu, now live in protected areas. factmonster.com
in the novella ethan frome (1911)—one of her best-known, most successful, and least characteristic works—wharton evokes the tragic fate of three people against the stark background of rural new england. among her many other novels are the valley of decision (1902), a historical novel of 18th-century italy; the custom of the country (1913); hudson river bracketed (1929) and its sequel, the gods arrive (1932); and an unfinished work, the buccaneers (1938). collections of her short stories include xingu and other stories (1916), certain people (1930), and ghosts (1937). wharton also wrote travel books (e.g., italian backgrounds, 1905), books on interior design and architecture (e.g., the decoration of houses, 1897; italian villas and their gardens, 1904), literary criticism, and poetry. in 1915 she was awarded the cross of the legion of honor by the french government for her services during world war i. infoplease.com