Uncontacted tribal peoples found

I found this news on CNN: a group of indigenous people in Brazil were photographed from the air. These people have had no contact with the civilized world; when they saw the aircraft overhead, the men drew their bows in threat.

There are around 100 uncontacted peoples in the world, and the majority of them are found in the vast reaches of the Amazon rain forest. There they are in danger from disease, encroachment, and especially logging, which reduces the territory available to them and crowds unfamiliar groups together.

This kind of news both thrills and distresses me. Indigenous peoples like those photographed above practice a way of life that has continued unbroken since the first word was broken, since the first tool was fashioned. In so doing, they have managed something which their “civilized” counterparts are having difficulty figuring out: they have lived on this Earth for thousands of years without bringing it to the brink of destruction. This means that every time an indigenous people is absorbed or destroyed, a sustainable way of living that has existed for as long as humanity is lost forever. This must not be countenanced.

The CNN article mentions two organizations that are doing all they can to prevent the loss of the remaining uncontacted peoples in the world. One is Brazil’s National Indian Foundation, and another is Survival International. Their aim is laudable, and they must be supported.


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One Response to “Uncontacted tribal peoples found”

  1. Indigenous Peoples researcher Says:

    This is an amazing story, sadly, with all of the media coverage it won’t be long before someone goes jaunting in to try and study these people. There are many small, grass-roots organizations trying to help indigenous peoples – both contacted and uncontacted. The world is becoming a very small place…

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