'Uncontacted tribes' sighted in Amazon
Dramatic photographs have emerged, showing one of the few remaining peoples on earth thought to have had no contact with the outside world, reported CNN.
Taken from a small airplane, the photos show men outside thatched communal huts, necks craned upward, pointing bows toward the air in a remote corner of the Amazonian rainforest. The men appear strong and healthy, and they apparently live with families in six communal shelters known as malocas, the Brazilian government said.
The photos were taken during 20 hours of flights conducted between April 28 and May 2.
The National Indian Foundation published the photos Thursday on its Web site. The Brazilian government agency tracks "uncontacted tribes" -- indigenous groups thought to have had no contact with outsiders -- and seeks to protect them from encroachment. The government has tracked at least four uncontacted groups in the region for the last 20 years.
More than 100 uncontacted tribes remain worldwide. About half live in the remote reaches of the Amazonian rainforest in Peru or Brazil, near the recently photographed tribe, according to Survival International, a nonprofit group that advocates for the rights of indigenous people.
"All are in grave danger of being forced off their land, killed or decimated by new diseases," the organization said Thursday.
Its director, Stephen Cory, said the new photographs highlight the need to protect uncontacted people from intrusion by the outside world. Video Watch some of these photos "
"These pictures are further evidence that uncontacted tribes really do exist," Cory said in a statement. "The world needs to wake up to this, and ensure that their territory is protected in accordance with international law. Otherwise, they will soon be made extinct."
Illegal logging in Peru is threatening several uncontacted groups, pushing them over the border with Brazil and toward potential conflicts with about 500 uncontacted Indians living on the Brazilian side, Survival International said.