At times, the Amazon can seem like an endless source of bad news. From oil spills, to deforestation, to animal extinction — the Amazonian rainforest faces such perilous harm from the hands of man that it’s almost painful to watch. As we encroach increasingly more into one of the world’s most vibrant ecosystems, we learn more and more with each passing week just how delicate and astonishing it truly is. Case in point is news that one of the world’s last remaining uncontacted tribes, located in the Peruvian Amazon, is apparently trying to make contact with the outside world. Bob Holmes of New Scientist writes:
“News emerged this week that an indigenous tribe in the Peruvian Amazon, the Mashco-Piro, has been trying to make contact with outsiders. In the past, the Mashco-Piro have always resisted interaction with strangers, avoiding — and sometimes killing — any they encounter. How should Western societies respond to these so-called uncontacted tribes? No one knows for sure. At a rough guess, there are probably more than 100 around the world, mostly in Amazonia and New Guinea, says Rebecca Spooner, of Survival International, a London-based organisation that advocates for the rights of indigenous peoples. Brazil’s count is likely to be the most accurate. The government there has identified 77 uncontacted tribes through aerial surveys, and by talking to more Westernised indigenous groups about their neighbours. There are thought to be around 15 uncontacted tribes in Peru, a handful in other Amazonian countries, a few dozen in the Indonesian part of the island of New Guinea and two tribes in the Andaman Islands off the coast of India. There may also be some in Malaysia and central Africa.”
So how exactly is it possible for these tribes to have avoided contact with the outside world? You can read the full story by visiting NewScientist.com.
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