Environment

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The Amazon River, Brazil

Amazon Tribe Discovered in Brazilian Rainforest

May 30, 2008 01:03 PM
by Liz Colville
Aerial footage from a Brazilian aircraft proves the existence of an Amazon tribe hitherto unseen.

30-Second Summary

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The Guardian reports that Brazil’s department of Indian affairs, Funai, made the discovery, taking photos of the tribe as they aimed weapons at the aircraft.

Painted “from head to toe,” the tribe members stood outside their homes, six thatched huts in a clearing in the rainforest. A member of Funai said, “We did the overflight to show their houses, to show they are there, to show they exist," since some doubt the existence of so-called “uncontacted” tribes.

When Funai’s aircraft first flew over the habitat, the tribe members fled into the forest, but emerged covered in red paint and brandishing bows and arrows when the plane returned.

Survival International, a group that works for the rights of indigenous people, wrote on its Web site that there are approximately 100 uncontacted tribal groups left in the world, and most of them reside in the Peruvian and Brazilian parts of the Amazon rainforest.

The organization notes that illegal logging is not only putting tribes under threat from loggers, but has forced Peruvian tribes into Brazil, potentially putting tribes into conflict with each other.

An uncontacted tribe in Peru was discovered by the country’s environment agency in October 2007.

Headline Link: ‘Aerial images prove existence of remote Amazon tribe’

Background: World’s indigenous groups are numbered

Opinion & Analysis: Speaking out for uncontacted tribes

Related Topic: 2007 sighting of uncontacted Peruvian tribe

Reference: Photo slideshow of the Amazon tribe

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