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Uncontacted Amazon Tribe Attacks Helicopter with Arrows

Here's a fascinating story from the Amazon: When anthropologists flew over the thick rainforest along the Brazilian-Peruvian border, they witnessed this: one of the last uncontacted tribes in the world:

Skin painted bright red, heads partially shaved, arrows drawn back in the longbows and aimed square at the aircraft buzzing overhead. The gesture is unmistakable: Stay Away.

Behind the two men stands another figure, possibly a woman, her stance also seemingly defiant. Her skin painted dark, nearly black.

The apparent aggression shown by these people is quite understandable. For they are members of one of Earth's last uncontacted tribes, who live in the Envira region in the thick rainforest along the Brazilian-Peruvian frontier.

Link - via metafilter


Whilst the woman's stance may be "defiant", I wouldn't exactly call them hostile any more than I'm hostile to a wasp when I try to get it (alive, but) out of a room. I suspect the height of their technology is the very longbows they carry and if so, what the hell are they making of a helicopter? As far as they're concerned, it's probably a giant insect and I can tell you, in that part of the world, everything blasted thing bites or stings. Hell, I don't like the wasps the size of small helicopters that come buzzing angrily around this time of the year, what would I do if I saw something /that/ size? I'd be reaching for a camera swiftly followed by the nearest 2"x4".
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The 'overflight' was made on purpose to take pictures of the houses to prove the presence of the tribe, they claimed..but they must have known that their helicopter presence would make way more of an impact on the tribe than it would on people who viewed the photos..I'd like to hear if they at all thought about that from an anthropological point of view.
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That's pretty cool that there are stillt tribes out there totally untouched by the world.
It's just.. I dunno... weird and cool at the same time.
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There has to be a name for the period of time between seeing a video on line and discovering it is a viral advertising campaign.

Subsequently feeling sullied
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Not actually 'one of the last' at all, there are over a hundred similar tribes who are largely untainted by 'civilisation'.
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Oh, Lawd. Publicizing the existence of these people will lead to two things, first, someone will decide that their land looks good, and try to take it. Second, the bible thumpers who insist on bringing Jesus to everybody will dispatch a missionary to convert the unsaved heathen, and probably accidentally give them a disease or three that their isolation has given them no resistance to. Welcome to the "modern" world. Its happened before, so many times, and its gonna happen again.
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you're right Mel, that land looks great! lets see, how do I get there.... next to trees. oh. and in amazon. Cool, got my directions, off to steal some land.

Bah, people are eating up the rainforest at a decent pace anyway. I highly doubt that we're now going to focus our destrucion with the purpose of getting to this tribe just so we can ruin their day. That'd be like seeing a picture of a kid with ice cream just posted to flicker, so we walk all the way across new york only to steal it and throw it to the ground before heading home.
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Don't know if anyone's commented on this yet, but doesn't the all black female look a little out of place? I'm not sure if perhaps she's covered in black mud but her stance in several pictures looks ape-like. Perhaps the missing link between man and ape? Thought I would get something stirred up with this.
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@ garry

From what I've read from National Geographic and from Anthropology classes in Uni...the colours symbolize various things from class to status to individual tastes in body colouring. Mind you I'm basing this off of from already contacted tribes but so far they all seem to share some similarities in such things.
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While "civilization" might ultimately not be the best thing for these people, isn't it extremely arrogant to say we know best for them? I mean, to say they are "primitive" and should not be "contaminated" is very condescending to these folks. They have a right to know us if they want. They have a right to know about the great advancements mankind has made if they want.

To isolate them like some kind of wildlife preserve is just inhuman. IMO.

(I agree about keeping the Missionaries out, however.)
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Yeah, Mel; why bring modern medicine to those people. They've been living in that state for generations and are totally accustomed to having three out of five babies die before the first birthday, and feeling very fortunate to live past 30 years. Why mess that up for them?
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could you imagine what it would be like to be one of these people and suddenly all of the rest of the world arrived.

It'd be like the sky peeling back revealing giants who peer down on you

It was just out side of Barstow when the drugs took effect.
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Reminds me of the tribe which killed a couple of fishermen who got wrecked on their shores a while back.

And Mel, they live in the middle of thick jungle so there's no place to land an aircraft, and it's a long way from any civilization, very difficult to reach even with a proper expedition. That's the only reason it hasn't been disturbed so far, and I'm pretty sure that no one will go to any lengths to reach them for a while (at least, while the forest still remains... and with the rate at which the rainforest is being cut down probably won't be very long at all).
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@l'elk: LOL! The gods must be crazy!

Perhaps the body coloring help serve a function: as a barrier against mosquitoes.

@Ali S. and zan: it's getting rarer and rarer to find an uncontacted civilization. Wikipedia (who else?) actually has a nice list.
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@Dave

Yeah! What a great untapped market for anti-depressants. You know, with all the dying babies and whatnot, I'm sure there's a lot of depression. While we're at it, let's bring them some meds for blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, insomnia... If they didn't have those problems before, they'll have them after meeting our "civilized" world. Along with all the other pathogens that they don't have any immunity for. But hey, we can pump them full of vaccines to deal with those!

That kind of condescending attitude ("our way is the BEST way and the ONLY way for these uncivilized natives") worked great in Africa, Asia, and the Americas... didn't it? Even if their mortality rates are as high as you claim, so what? It's all they know, and it probably isn't a big deal to them; it's just a part of life. Until, that is, you get some Western doctors in there, telling them that everyone should live into their 80s and babies should never die. Then they really will need some anti-depressants every time some member of the tribe dies "prematurely".
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"The tribespeople are likely to think the plane that took this photograph is a spirit or large bird"

Or it could actually be they know exactly what it is and they just want "civilization" to leave them the %*&# alone.
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These people need to be told the Good News, and if they don't take to it, we should take their land and kill them and if they go to hell, it'll be their fault. Hallelujah!!!
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@ Neatoramawontsendmeapassword: Yeah. Just let them die from dysentery, malaria, minor fevers and infections, like they've done for generations. They don't know any better, so they won't be missing a thing.

Talk about condescending attitudes...
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heh - are they really considered "uncontaminated by civilization" any more? I would just guess that a big helicopter taking photos might be considered by some to be a kind of contact...
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Mel in countries like Brazil there are actual laws that forbid people like "bible thumpers" and "land grabbers" from venturing into these protected spots. On top of that even if they made it to the village I doubt they would last very long.

Not that everyone follows the law, but those bow and arrows act a sort of check to the law breakers. :)
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@Hooper

No, it's not Pat Robertson here, he's too busy trying to get Bush to attack Iran to work on this one.

Yes, I think we should teach these poor ignorant heathens the "Learn or Burn" principle; LEARN about God's love for all mankind, or BURN in hell for all eternity! Hallelujah!
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@ Dave. Why would we assume they're suffering from deaths due to diseases that have probably not entered and spread throughout the Amazon? Or that introduction of outside sources won't just wipe them out? They seem to be doing fine since they exist and its 2008.
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for Dave: What you assume is that they are afflicted by what you view as abject... this is their way of life, for 10,000 yrs or more, what you propose is the elitist ideal that Western civilization has all the answers, supplying the Others with decent values followed closely by colonization. Think before you 'try to do the good thing,' something I agree with Mel that the missionary's will not do.
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If they wear traditional clothes or are naked they look proud and natural. Then the missionaries come and persuade them to cover themselves and wear 'decent' clothes. The clothes loose color in the sun and get dusty and torn, and the people look like beggars...
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This is asinine. If they needed pictures they should've taken a silent GLIDER across the area, with the bottom painted blue. That or freaking google maps the area.

The place should be a no fly zone.
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How do they avoid inbreeding? There must be some contact with other tribes, and it's hard to believe that over the centuries there are not some stories they must have heared.
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It's creepy to think they might not know how much other humans have advanced in technology... wow... I'm not sure if they chose to live this way, or at least kept it up because of tradition, or if it's just because they are so isolated that they have no idea of everything that's going on around them...
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Oh, and... It would not be a good idea to impose the modern way of life on them, because they would not have any way to make money... I mean, what could they possibly be capable of in modern society? They would have an awful lot to learn, even if it's just (for example) something silly like cutting grass. How can they understand the reasons behind cutting grass? (Hell, come to think of it, I'm questioning it too). This people's mentality seems almost ancient. I mean of course they are capable, they are human, but their way of life is so far behind that I'm not sure how they would accept anything, or whether they'd be able to learn our way of life at all. And so their life would be much worse if they were introduced to modern society, because modern society revolves around money.
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Its only a matter of time before CIA flies over with gas to knock them out them put them in a lab to see what drugs they can make out of herbs these people have been using to stay alive, then sell them to corporate america to make trillions. Of course they will do autopsies on all of them once they kill them.
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Hi alex...I commented on this post yesterday but I am not able to view the comment at all. When I tried putting the same comment it was detected as a duplicate comment (Worpdress is awesome as usual here :) )... let me know if there is a problem with the comment or something. I'll really appreciate to know why it hasn't appeared here :)

Cheers,
Anwin
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Ah...I think I've got it...maybe because I've given more than three links within the comment. Anyway here it goes again, my earlier comment deleting a couple of links:

"Actually, this is not the only incident. In the year 2006 in the Andaman Islands, a tribe called the sentinelese (believed to be the direct descendants of the first human race straight from Africa), did the same thing. When a copter flew across their island they were hostile and tried to bring it down using bow and arrows. Do read the below links for this piece of info.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/stone-age-tribe-kills-fishermen/2006/02/08/1139379571616.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/feb/12/theobserver.worldnews12

Cheers,
Anwin"
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they could all get jobs being lawyers, like unfrozen cave man lawyer. he delt with it pretty well, but sometimes he just wanted to jump out of his bmw and drop his cell phone and run in the woods.
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This has only been touched on so I thought I would bring it up. Anthropologists have been trying to contact many of these tribes in the Amazon for years. What they have discovered is that THESE PEOPLE WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH US. The isolation is self imposed. The only reason anthropologists have even heard that these tribes existed is because other tribes they do have contact with would tell them stories and rumors of other tribes that no one had talked to in eons. These isolated tribes will not have any thing to do with even other amazonian tribes. It is obvious that these people want to be left alone and the only reason I could be OK with for trying this stunt of flying over them to get pictures is if these pictures are going to help keep laws in place to protect the area from outsiders. If they did it just because they wanted pics of "the hidden tribe," then these Anthropologists are true jack asses and have gone in to the field of study for all the wrong reasons. I guess I could read their web site and find out, huh?
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OK, I just read there web site and they are doing it for the right reasons (I do agree that a silent pass with a glider or something might have been better if not logisticly harder).
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@Scot:
"A napalm drop would have been quite funny."

Spoken like a true piece of shit, fuck you.

As with most humans, someone, probably someone like Scot, will corrupt this small group of people who probably just want to be left alone.

Where can you go on this Earth anymore without someone wanting to tax or otherwise fuck you? More and more people are generating noise, "Listen to me! Look at me! Look what I can do! Aren't I special?" it's harder and harder to find somewhere where you and a few fellow humans can appreciate peace and quiet without being on someone else's "grid" and paying taxes like a slave to some distant cock sucking overlord. (Wesley Snipes for President, BTW)

The anal among you will pick through this post and try to poke humor at it, wage a personal attack, throw a snide remark about spelling or grammar, or any other type of hit to try and wrestle away this fact and ignore it, the majority of humans are slaves and subjected to more and more noise on a daily basis.

These small tribes, no matter how primitive, no matter how backward, allow me to feel that somewhere, somehow, there are people who are still truly free and apart from the slavery and noise of modern man. ("But these tribes X,Y,Z!" yes I have studied primitive cultures for quite some time now, no need to go into arguments. "Oh well then you're X,Y,Z" no need to go there either)

These individuals, like mexicans who come and work on the American slave land, are freer than any of us tied to a computer in a land of tax slavery and noise.

You are a slave.
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I'd love to have sex with a tribal woman, I'd smear her paint all over me and lick up and down her wild body.. the tribal men could then put their arrows of love into me...

woo woo!
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We're always doing things supposedly for all the right reason's and assuming the others need to be brought up to speed with the 20th century.

There in itself lies the problem as we can barely fix many of our own problems with corruption at every turn even within our government or our own judicial system let alone our religious and even relief institutions where everything we create albeit with good intent becomes pervasively filled with or undermined by our own greed and corruption.

That being said why even bother to contact these people?,.. so that we can do the same and just ruin them as we have done with our own society?

Modernism is an persuasive evil deeply rooted in corruption and falsehood and frankly these people are better off without it.

Hell, im eventually gathering as much loot to get everything needed so i can disappear myself and live similarly though no not by contacting them or any else and instead living on my own and hunting to survive while living in peace the way it was supposed to be.

Being able to watch tv and buy a gallon of milk at a convenience while paying for everything in some way shape or form isn't really a convenience at all as it is instead the very blueprint of entrapment and slavery by which multitudes are controlled and used to finance those who are really in power while unwitting consumers are kept pacified with the latest gadgets and scraps.

Thanks but no thanks.. theres only one true way of living off the grid and thats by no longer continuing to keep those in power in power by paying taxes and continuing to fund their corruption as instead it is in living cleanly and free the way it should have been and is supposed to be.

The fact that these tribes and many like it are still in existence is a testament to their method of living free from the corruption of power and greed, they should left alone and i can barely wait till im ready to live similarly leaving the rest so far far behind with all their modern gadgets and bobbles while the government and institutions continuing raping their raping under the guise of freedom and independence (what a crock and to think many of us are born into this scam when slavery never ended)..

again thanks but NO THANKS.
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We’re always doing things supposedly for all the right reason’s and assuming the others need to be brought up to speed with the 20th century.

There in itself lies the problem as we can barely fix many of our own problems with corruption at every turn even within our government or our own judicial system let alone our religious and even relief institutions where everything we create albeit with good intent becomes pervasively filled with or undermined by our own greed and corruption.

That being said why even bother to contact these people?,.. so that we can do the same and just ruin them as we have done with our own society?

Modernism is a persuasive evil deeply rooted in corruption and falsehood and frankly these people are better off without it.

Hell, im eventually gathering as much loot to get everything needed so i can disappear myself and live similarly though "NO" not by contacting them or any one else and instead by living on my own and hunting to survive while living in peace the way it was supposed to be.

Being able to watch tv and buy a gallon of milk at a convenience store while paying for everything in some way shape or form isn’t really a convenience at all as it is instead the very blueprint for entrapment and slavery by which multitudes are controlled and used to finance those who are really in power while unwitting consumers are kept pacified with the latest gadgets and scraps.

Thanks but no thanks.. theres only one true way of living off the grid and thats by no longer continuing to keep those in power in power by paying taxes and continuing to fund their corruption as instead it is in living cleanly and free the way it should have been and is supposed to be.

The fact that these tribes and many like it are still in existence is a testament to their method of living free from the corruption of power and greed, they should left alone and i can barely wait till im ready to live similarly leaving the rest so far far behind with all their modern gadgets and bobbles while the government and institutions continuing raping their raping under the guise of freedom and independence (what a crock and to think many of us are born into this scam when slavery never ended)..

again thanks but NO THANKS.
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The reality is that they really have no way of telling what tribe it is or what language they speak. They just made a wild guess. Sort of like Christopher Columbus thinking that the Tainos were Indians from India. I agree that he isolation is self imposed. For more on this subject, check out Amazon Tribes. Just my 2 cents.
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well ima go and do a supply drop with all sorts of diverse foods (avoid known allergenic foods) from the world and sample technology with a book that shows pictures of the world and our society, not to mention a visual instruction booklet on how to contact our world, prob some sort of 1-touch video call phone

*everything included in the 1st contact kit(TM) is sterilised, harm-free and extremly user friendly*
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