During the later part of May this year, the world was once again put into surprise by the wonders of nature side-by-side with the amazing discovery of ethnic tribal people who have remained not connected with the present civilization. A group of experts in anthropology and a study on indigenous people recently released photos of red-painted tribe members along the Peruvian border between the countries of Brazil and Peru. Many people believe that this group can be one of South America’s few remaining indigenous tribes who have remained isolated and out of reach from the present civilization.
As to date, there is still no pronouncement regarding the official identification on the kind of ethnic group this newly discovered tribal people belong to. However, some anthropologists suspect that these people belong to the bloodline of among Tano and Aruak tribal groups.
Funai (Fundacao Nacional do Indio), an agency created by the Brazilian government that oversees Indian’s interests and culture, initiated the conduct of aerial photo shoots on this group which is considered to be the few remaining “uncontacted” indigenous tribes in the world. The photos showed (through bird’s eye view) “strong and healthy” tribal warriors with red paint all over their bodies, and with bows and arrows pointing to the aircraft embarked by the photographers. The photos also showed that these “warriors” were situated in an area occupied by six thatched huts and a well-mended vegetation area. At first glance, one can say that a small village truly exists – living in isolation at the thick jungles of Amazon rainforest.
Based on what the photos reflected, it can be deemed that despite the fact that these people live at the heart of a thick jungle, the concept of “domestication” is still being
practiced. The sight of thatched huts connotes that these people live in the concept of a structured shelter – unlike during the ancient tribal groups where they did not really construct permanent houses because of their nomadic way of living. More or less, one can say that this newly discovered group has already the concept of a home and the necessity to have a good shelter for family members. Furthermore, the presence of a large planted area within the periphery of their houses means that these people, though have remained isolated from the “civilized” world, have the knowledge and skills of mending vegetation. Just the thought of allocating a portion of land for vegetation is a good thing to note of a society (or for this matter, a small village) that has basic knowledge on the importance of food supply for present and future consumption. Hence, such details imply that this new found tribal group in the Brazil’s Acre Region, despite its being remote, lives in a culture that also pays importance to the basic necessity of men which is food and shelter.
Also, it was found out that the bodies of the “warriors” as shown in the photos were painted red. Accordingly, during the first few days of the over flight on the said village, the bodies of these people were not yet painted. On the succeeding days, however, these tribal men colored themselves red, carrying with them bows and arrows – a clear manifestation that they are ready to fight against something which they think is threatening their lives.
With all the abovementioned details and eye-opener insights, the question now lies – How come it took until now for the discovery of this group? Does the Brazilian government
know about the existence of this tribe? Where will this “discovery” lead all of us?
According to some officials of Funai, they (Funai experts) have been studying four distinct isolated tribal groups in the Brazil’s Acre Region for twenty years. Such endeavor in monitoring the presence of these people aims to prove that such groups really do exist. However, this recently discovered village is one of the last that they have not reached, not because the Brazilian government does not know about their existence, but to give these tribesmen the feeling of assurance and security that they are not being threatened. Also, by isolating these people (and retaining their status quo) do not only give them the feeling of security, but it also helps for the propagation of their kind; thus, preserving the natural wonders of human kind in accordance to culture and race.
The Brazilian government, meanwhile, had decided to release the photos out in public in order to inform the “civilized” world that such tribe exists at the thick jungles of Amazon. This agenda leads to the aim of protecting these ethnic groups from illegal loggers and high-scaled mining activities which are currently putting the lives of these tribal group members at high risk. Accordingly, such tribes would eventually disappear if their land remains unprotected.
In hindsight, such discovery led to a new dimension of critical analysis – that despite the modernity and seemingly “borderless village” we have right now, there still remains people who live their lives in accordance with ethnic beliefs and in the confinement of the natural comfort of a jungle. We know about them, they still do not know about us – it is up to us how we can protect them.