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Dublin: 13°C Sunday 16 May 2021

'Lost' Amazon Indians make first contact with outside world

“It is not normal for such a large group of uncontacted Indians to approach in this way,” said one expert.

A GROUP OF people living in the Amazon rainforest who had no previous interaction with the outside world have emerged for the first time.

uncontacted-tribe Source: Survival International

The indigenous people made contact with a village of settled Indians living in the area near the Peru border, just weeks after they were spotted moving from their homes.

A specialist team from Brazil’s government has flown to the area to help the newly-contacted group, along with a medical unit to treat any possible illnesses and disease, as the isolated groups often lack immunity.

The group was driven from their homes because of ‘rampant’ illegal logging, according to Survival International, a group which acts for the rights of tribal people.

“Something serious must have happened,” said José Carlos Meirelles, a former official with the Brazilian Indian Affairs Department known as FUNAI.

It is not normal for such a large group of uncontacted Indians to approach in this way. This is a completely new and worrying situation.

The Brazilian government has said that there are at least four groups of uncontacted Indians on the Brazilian side of the Amazon, numbering more than 600 people,  with another possible two groups in Peru.

It is not known what languages the groups speak or what they call themselves.

The tribes are believed to live in communal houses made from thatch and wood, and hunt forest birds and animals for food.

There has been international concern over the presence of loggers in Peru, sparking warnings that their activities could mean the end for the world’s ‘lost’ tribes.

“International borders don’t exist for uncontacted tribes, which is why Peru and Brazil must work together to prevent lives being lost,” said Stephen Corry, the head of Survival International.

“Throughout history, uncontacted peoples have been destroyed then their land is invaded, and so it’s vital that these Indians’ territory is properly protected”.


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