Tribe Emerges From Brazilian Jungle Possibly for First Time
By MEGHAN KENEALLY 2 hours ago
A remarkable video shows a group of indigenous people seen for the first time by the outside world as they emerged from a Brazilian jungle while fleeing illegal loggers and drug traffickers, according a Brazilian group that tracks such jungle tribes.
The group of men are believed to be natives of Peru but they were filmed in northern Brazil on the banks of the Envira River which runs near the Peruvian border. The encounter took place within the last two weeks, but the video was released Thursday by the Brazilian indigenous authority FUNAI.
The tribal men are naked except for belts and loincloths and carry different weapons, including bows and arrows and spears in the 8-minute video.
A few of the tribal men are seen with markings on their faces and they all have styled their dark black hair in a similar bowl-cut fashion.
At one point one of the men blatantly steals a machete-type knife while another takes an ax from a settlement, despite shouts of protest by the villagers. Another member of their group grabs a blue material that looks like either a towel or a piece of clothing.
Brazilian authorities have not identified the group, but were able to determine that the dialect of the language that they're speaking is a form of the Panoan linguistic group.
The people they are interacting with are part of the Ashaninka ethnic group who reside in the area where the video was shot.
One Ashaninkan man, seen shirtless with a pair of baggy athletic shorts, wades into the river to hand the tribe members some bananas.
The group is one of about 15 "uncontacted tribal peoples" in Peru and has been forced from their homes in Peru "as a result of the illegal logging and drug trafficking which is rampant in the area," Rebecca Spooner of Survival International told ABC News.
"They weren't an unknown group. People have known about them for years," Spooner said. She said the Brazilian government has been monitoring the movements of the group, which she described as nomadic hunter gatherers.
The group's language barrier made it difficult to communicate, but Spooner said they indicated that their tribal elders had been killed in a confrontation.
"We don't know whether they were shot or how they were killed, but we do know that they were killed by the illegal settlers," Spooner said. "Their houses were set on fire, their elders were killed and they were shot at themselves."
They do not know when exactly this confrontation took place, but believe it was within the last year.
The tribe members seen in the video were part of a group that could be as large as 80 members, she said. They had melted back deep into the Brazilian jungle, but not before several contracted the flu, which Spooner said "could be deadly for the tribe."
She said the tribe members eat fish, hunt jungle game, fruit and plantains.
Spooner said that there is no way of knowing when or if they will reappear again.