Incredible new photos of uncontacted tribe in the Amazon

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
January 31, 2011






Detail of uncontacted native family from flyover. Photo courtesy of Survival International. Click for more explanation on the image.

Taken by Brazil's Indian Affairs Department and released by indigenous-rights group, Survival International, new aerial photos show an uncontacted tribe on the border of Brazil and Peru in detail.

According to a press release by Survival International, the photos "reveal a thriving, healthy community with baskets full of manioc and papaya fresh from their gardens", but a community that is also threatened by illegal loggers from Peru.

"The illegal loggers will destroy this tribe. It's vital that the Peruvian government stop them before time runs out.[…]. What they need from us is their territory protected, so that they can make their own choices about their future. But this area is now at real risk, and if the wave of illegal logging isn't stopped fast, their future will be taken out of their hands. This isn't just a possibility: it's irrefutable history, rewritten on the graves of countless tribes for the last five centuries," Survival International director, Stephen Corry, said.

However, the current Peruvian government and indigenous groups have a tense relationship. Peru's government tacit backing of oil exploration and massive dams in the Amazon has led to large-scale protests of indigenous groups. In 2009 the issue came to a head as a protest turned violent: 23 police officers and at least 10 indigenous protesters were killed. Indigenous groups additionally claim the violence was worse than reported, with Peruvian police dumping bodies where they would not be found.

Peruvian president, Alan Garcia, has stated disdain for indigenous people in the past, referring to them as "confused savages", "barbaric", "second-class citizens", "criminals", and "ignorant".

Given the elusive nature of uncontacted indigenous groups, which today survive in increasingly small communities in South America, governments and corporations have sometimes taken the stance that such natives are simply not present. Some indigenous groups have been contacted in the past, but have chosen to remain apart from the modern world.

"It is necessary to reaffirm that these peoples exist, so we support the use of images that prove these facts. These peoples have had their most fundamental rights, particularly their right to life, ignored…it is therefore crucial that we protect them," Marcos Apurinã, Coordinator of Brazil’s Amazon Indian organization COIAB told Survival International.




Uncontacted native family from flyover. Photo courtesy of Survival International. Click to enlarge.




A man dyed by annatto seeds walks in the community's garden. Photo courtesy of Survival International. Click to enlarge.




Men watch as the Brazilian government plane passes. Photo courtesy of Survival International. Click to enlarge.















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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (January 31, 2011).

Incredible new photos of uncontacted tribe in the Amazon.

http://news.mongabay.com/2011/0131-hance_uncontacted.html