An Untouched Amazonian Tribe

An Untouched Amazonian Tribe

AROUND THE GLOBE  |  SOUTH AMERICA  |  AUGUST 2015

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Peruvian government anthropologists will try to make contact for the first time with an Amazonian tribe that largely lives isolated in the jungle, as part of a bid to ease tensions with nearby villages after a bow-and-arrow attack in May.

 

The anthropologists will try to talk with a clan of Mashco Piro Indians to understand why they have been emerging from the forest.

 

In recent years the Mashco Piro have increasingly been spotted seeking machetes and food outside their jungle enclaves in the Manu National Park in southeastern Peru.

 

Villagers, Christian missionaries and tourists have all interacted with the tribe, often giving them clothes and food.

 

"The only ones who haven't been in contact with them are representatives of the state!" said deputy culture minister Patricia Balbuena.

 

Peru prohibits contact with the Mashco Piro and another dozen "uncontacted" tribes, mainly because their immune systems carry little resistance to common illnesses.

 

Authorities have said they cannot keep people from defying the contact ban because no penalty is attached.

 

Indigenous group FENAMAD warned that the decision to contact the Mashco Piro could legitimise the kind of unwanted interactions that have decimated isolated tribes in the past.

 

"Authorities should restrict boat transit and keep people from approaching," said FENAMAD president Klaus Quicque.

Luis Felipe Torres, the head of the state isolated tribes team, said the government will not forcibly contact the Mashco Piro or try to change their nomadic lifestyle.

 

"But we can no longer pretend they aren't trying to make some sort of contact," Mr Torres said. "They have a right to that, too." Read full article here.

 

The very earliest recorded documents concerning the tribes that settled in what is known today as Peru were in fact Israelite tribes. For more on ancient quotes and records of the Lost Tribes of Israel dwelling in South American click here.

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PHOTO: JEAN-PAUL VAN BELLE/REUTERS

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