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Last Survivor of Indigenous Tribe Filmed in Brazil’s Amazon

Saturday 21 July 2018
Last Survivor of Indigenous Tribe Filmed in Brazil’s Amazon

Alwaght- Extremely rare video footage has released of an indigenous man who has lived alone in an Amazon forest for at least 22 years after the last members of his tribe were murdered.

The shaky video - filmed at a distance and released by the Brazilian government's indigenous agency, Funai - shows a muscular Semi-naked man cutting a tree with an axe.

“He is very well, hunting, maintaining some plantations of papaya, corn,” said Altair Algayer, a regional coordinator for Funai in the Amazon state of Rondonia, who was with the team who filmed the footage from a distance. “He has good health and a good physical shape doing all those exercises.” The man is classed as uncontacted, meaning no outsider has ever spoken to him (as far as it is known).

Funai has been monitoring the man from afar since 1996, and needs to show he is still alive to renew a restriction order on the area of land he roams, in Rondonia.

The area - spanning around 4,000 hectares - is surrounded by private farms and deforested clearings, but the order prevents anyone from entering and endangering him.

Under the Brazilian constitution, indigenous people have a right to land.

Loggers, farmers and land grabbers murdered and expelled indigenous populations in the area in the 1970s and 1980s, and the man is believed to be the only survivor of a group of six killed during an attack by farmers in 1995. He was first located in 1996 and has been monitored by Funai ever since. A glimpse of his face filmed in 1998 was shown in the Brazilian documentary Corumbiara. His tribe has never been named, and it is not known what language they used.

The team that tracks him calls him "the Indian of the hole" because of an unusual hole that he dug, Algayer said.

"We don't know who he belongs to," Algayer said, who adds that the man appears to be in good health and between 55 and 60.

The foundation's policy is to allow such people to live their lives in isolation, but members of the foundation tried initially to make contact with the man since he was alone and they believed him at risk. The man made clear he wanted no contact, and the foundation has not tried again since 2005.

About every other month, a team enters his territory to look for signs that he is still alive and well. They don't always see him — the last time they did was in 2016 — but they are able to tell he is still alive by traces he leaves behind. A mission in May found fresh footprints and a newly cut tree.

They have left tools and seeds for the man, and they have seen that he has planted corn, potatoes, papayas and bananas.

"This man, who is unknown to us, even after losing everything, including his people and a series of cultural practices, proved that, even like that, alone in the forest, it is possible to survive and resist joining mainstream society," Algayer said in a statement distributed by the foundation. "I believe he is much better off than if, way back, he had made contact."

 

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