Acre, Brazil – It has been confirmed that on Saturday, June 29, a previously unknown indigenous tribe reached out to the modern world for the first time. The group emerged from the native rain forest habitat to communicate with the nearby Ashaninka tribe and members of the Frente de Proteção Etno-Ambiental do rio Envira (Ethno-environmental Protection Front of the Envira River), a local environmental group. As it turns out, the environmental group had spotted the tribe weeks ago and was monitoring their progress towards the Ashaninka settlement. The tribe lives in a remote part of the Amazon forest which borders the Andean nation of Peru.
Brazil in known for what are termed uncontacted tribes which are typically close knit and do not react well when encountering people outside their tribe. They may react passively by hiding or aggressively by shooting arrows at the perceived intruders. As per standard protocol for engaging uncontacted or isolated tribes, a medical unit will be treating them given their lack of immunity to many diseases tolerated in modern society. Apparently, Peru has been lackadaisical about prohibiting illegal logging as of late. For this reason, the Brazilian government had raised the warning that the illegal activity in Peruvian territory may force uncontacted tribes to emerge.
UK-Based Survival International has been critical of both Brazil and Peru for failure to live up to pledges to combat illegal logging and drug trade. Both activities put the lives of the uncontacted tribes at risk by either forcing them from their native habitats or exposing them to diseases for which they have no immunity. Survival International views these types of behaviors as being modern-day repeats of the European conquests which claimed the lives of many indigenous people. The Brazilian Department of Indian Affairs known as Funai tracks and monitors uncontacted tribes but respects their desire to remain isolated.
According to the National Post, in 2011, a BBC crew shot video and photographs of an uncontacted tribe in the same region as last month’s encounter, though it was not clear whether it was the same tribe.
The shots were heralded as proof of the existence of uncontaced peoples amid accusations that reports of the tribes were no different than Scotland’s Loch Ness monster. Denials of uncontacted people have long been perpetuated by those with logging interests in the region, Ms. Eede wrote.
There are an estimated 77 similar groups living in the Amazon, the last recorded contact was in 2011 when the BBC shot video of a tribe in the same region.
Mysterious tribe in Amazon Rainforest makes first contact with outside world