Photo. Uncontacted Indians in Brazil seen from the air, May 2008. © Gleison Miranda/FUNAI: Uncontacted Indians in Brazil, May 2008.
Recently, the Brazilian government has released photographs and new information about an isolated tribe living near the Peruvian border that anthropologists have had knowledge of for some 20 years; they have decided to make the information public now because the tribe's habitat is in danger due to logging, much of which occurs illegally and unregulated. However it was soon revealed that the Brazilian Government had known about the tribe since 1910 and had made contact. After the article on Observer`s website, other websites around the world have claimed that reports of the tribe's discovery were a hoax.
Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor in The Observer, wrote Sunday 22 June 2008: "Tribal guardian admits the Amazon Indians' existence was already known, but he hoped the publicity would lift the threat of logging. See Observer`s (guardian.co.uk) article: Secret of the 'lost' tribe that wasn't
See also published news report on our global travelguide Travel Explorations 1 June 2008: News - Uncontacted tribe Amazon
Has the media been misleaded?
It`s a big controversy about how the story come out of control. It`s a matter of the media`s credibility. The mentioned photographs were a big sensation when they become published. Wikipedia define uncontacted peoples as peoples who, either by choice or chance, live, or have lived, without significant contact with the 'modern' civilizations of the world. The organisation Survival International (www.Survival-International.org) estimates that there are over 100 uncontacted tribes worldwide.
Survival International released for few days ago a statement to try to clarify things, including: "The story is not a hoax, and none of those involved in working to protect these Indians' rights have ever claimed they were 'undiscovered.' Survival never claimed that the tribe was lost. The story got out of control, says Fiona Watson, Survival's Brazil expert, as a result of irresponsible reporting.
In response to the allegations, Survival International’s director Stephen Corry issued the following statement in a Press Release 24 June 2008: ‘The Observer article claims to ‘reveal’ that the tribe photographed was neither ‘lost’ nor ‘unknown’. The reality is that neither Survival nor the Brazilian government claimed they were. Read more from the organisation`s Press Release 24 June 2008 (click on the link): Uncontacted tribe photos no hoax.
The discusions will continue about the media`s cover of the tribe in Amazon, but anyway the most important is to protect the tribal people! We in Travel Explorations hope that the photographers will keep the tribe`s location secret.
Stein Morten Lund, 26 June 2008
Read more about exotic tribes on our website: www.TravelExplorations.com
Survival International`s website: www.Survival-International.org
Survival is the only international organisation supporting tribal peoples worldwide. The organisation was founded in 1969 after an article by Norman Lewis in the UK's Sunday Times highlighted the massacres, land thefts and genocide taking place in Brazilian Amazonia.