Rare Footage Reveals Last Surviving Member Of Uncontacted Amazonian Tribe [VIDEO]
Since the 1990s, the Brazilian Government’s Indigenous Affairs Department have been tracking a man who is believed to be the last surviving member of his tribe. Nobody knows his name, what language he speaks or much about his culture, but some call him the Man of the Hole because he has been seen digging deep holes to catch wildlife. The man’s tribe was slaughtered by cattle ranchers and illegal loggers, leaving him all alone in the amazonian rainforest.
Though several attempts have been made to contact the man, it is quite clear that he is not interested. In 2005 he wounded an official with an arrow who got too close to him, making it clear that he wants nothing to do with the outside world. So, officials have respected his wishes and try and help him from a respectful distance. In order to help preserve his way of life, they have left seeds and tool, check in monthly to look for signs that he is well and even protect a small territory for him.
“This man, who none of us know, and who’s lost almost everything, including the rest of his people, proves it’s possible to survive, and resist contact,” says FUNAI regional coordinator Altair Algayer, the head of the team monitoring the Man of the Hole’s territory.
“I think he’s better off as he is than if he’d made contact.”
The reason this footage has been released now is to show the importance of protecting indigenous people and their lands, as well as highlight the plight of isolated tribes in Amazon who are at constant risk of attack. “The problem is that there are no empty spaces in the Amazon,” former FUNAI official José Carlos Meirelles, who has been working with isolated tribes since 1971, explained to The New York Times. “You fly over it and see all that forest, but down there, it’s full of people — drug dealers, illegal loggers, and others.”
“Uncontacted tribes aren’t primitive relics of a remote past,” says Stephen Corry, director of Survival International – a global human rights organisation dedicated to protecting indigenous peoples. “They live in the here and now. They are our contemporaries and a vital part of humankind’s diversity, but face catastrophe unless their land is protected.”
Read more: Uncontacted Tribes Facing Extinction in Massive Amazonian Forest Fires
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Image Credit: FUNAI