A few days ago, Brazil’s National Indian Foundation, or FUNAI released a video, shows an isolated Indian tribe’s first contact with civilization in Acre, a state on the border with Peru, and how the Indians interact with a nearby indigenous community.
The video (shown below) shows isolated native people wearing loincloths and carrying bows and arrows have emerged from the Amazon rainforest.
The people shown in the video believed are from the Panoan linguistic group – as they speak their language – making contact with the Ashaninka native people of northern Brazil along the banks of the Envira River, near the Peruvian border, according to FUNAI, there are 77 uncontacted tribes in the Amazon. This group is making contact with the outside world for the first time!
The language they speak could just about be understood by a member of local Jaminawa tribe acting as interpreter. They shouted words like “chara” meaning “good” and complained of being hungry, sometimes slapping their thighs or chests for emphasis.
The Jaminawa interpreter said that the group belonged to a tribe he called the Chitonawa, who are believed to live a hunter-gatherer existence on the other side of the Brazil-Peru border, possibly cultivating forest gardens to grow staples like manioc and banana. Members of these tribes live in communal houses, and live off what they hunt and collect, including forest birds, animals, fish, fruits and nuts.
What is known about such groups is very little, but it’s clear that they want to remain uncontacted. They were whistling and making animal sounds. They have previously shot arrows at airplanes and tend to hide out deep in the Amazon in order to remain protected.
The Jaminawa interpreter also told FUNAI / Globo G1: “They described being attacked by non-native people and many died after coming down with the flu and diphtheria.” However, their strong wish to remain uncontacted has become difficult day by day, due to illegal activity encroaching on their territory, as media reports.
This is also may cause a real danger to these tribes, as outsiders bring common bacteria into the natives’ lands, exposing them to potentially life-threatening harm.
FUNAI recently treated seven members of Uncontacted Indian tribes for the flu, reportedly after non-Indians invaded their land with guns. Although once they returned to their communities they were free of the virus, they may be carrying other sorts of bacteria which could bring harm to their tribe once they return.
Survival International, a group advocating the rights of tribal people, reported the groups may have moved from Peru to Brazil due to potential attacks on the tribes, from drug smugglers or illegal loggers.
1. Uncontacted Amazonian tribe photographed – 29 May 2008
2. New pictures of Brazil’s isolated Amazon Yanomami tribe – 23 Nov 2011
3. Peru struggles to keep isolated Indians safe – 31 Jan 2012
4. Amazon rainforest tribe makes contact with outside world – 31 Jul 2014
5. Rare video of isolated Peru tribe released – 20 Aug 2013