RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Amazon Indians from one of the world’s last uncontacted tribes have been photographed from the air, with striking images released on Thursday showing them painted bright red and brandishing.
The photographs of the tribe near the border between Brazil and Peru are rare evidence that such groups exist. A Brazilian official involved in the expedition said many of them are in increasing danger from illegal logging.
“What is happening in this region is a monumental crime against the natural world, the tribes, the fauna and is further testimony to the complete irrationality with which we, the ‘civilized’ ones, treat the world,” Jose Carlos Meirelles was quoted as saying in a statement by the Survival International group.
One of the pictures, which can be seen on Survival International’s Web site, shows two Indian men covered in bright red pigment poised to fire arrows at the aircraft while another Indian looks on.
Another photo shows about 15 Indians near thatched huts, some of them also preparing to fire arrows at the aircraft.
“The world needs to wake up to this, and ensure that their territory is protected in accordance with international law. Otherwise, they will soon be made extinct,” said Stephen Corry, the director of Survival International, which supports tribal people around the world.
Of more than 100 uncontacted tribes worldwide, more than half live in either Brazil or Peru, Survival International says. It says all are in grave danger of being forced off their land, killed and ravaged by new diseases.
Cool to know, and yet…why are we freaking them out by hovering above them in helicopters and shit, knowing full well that that kind of technology is just not a part of their world? Is nothing sacred anymore?
Also, they took other pictures of the encampment, which gives a much better perspective, and the article instead chooses to elaborate on the (blurry, zoomed-in, pixelated) photo of the people pointing their bows and arrows at the plane? They might as well have written, “Aww, look at the uncivilized Indians. They don’t know what a helicopter is!” Ugh.
EDIT: sigh. I spoke too soon.
From the May 30 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: Have you seen, they’ve spotted — they’ve spotted an isolated tribe in Brazil. An airplane flew over this hut, this thatch roof hut or something, and these savages are body painted in red and they’re trying to shoot the airplane down with bows and arrows[…]
Wait a minute. Why do we have to help protect the land of this tribe? Aren’t they the essence of purity, according to the environmentalist communists? I mean, here are people who are untouched by civilization. Here are people who are uncontacted by civilization. Here are people living on this planet the way they’re supposed to be. Nobody even knew they were there. They suspected they were there, they flew an airplane over there, and they found ’em. Now, these people are probably at one with nature. Why do we need to protect their land? They’re doing a better job of it than any of us ever could protect our land.
Is this man retarded or something? (Okay, it’s Limbaugh we’re talking about. Dumb question.)
Because he seems to grasp the concept of paternalistic bullshit quite well in this next part (as opposed to intentionally misconstruing “protection” to mean protection of the environment):
The pictures taken from the airplane show red-painted tribe members brandishing bow and arrows. More than half of the world’s 100 uncontacted tribes live in Brazil or Peru, according to Survival International.
I mean, I’m sure these people — not only don’t they have to get rid of their incandescent light bulbs and go to these compact fluorescents, they don’t have light bulbs. They don’t have electricity. They don’t have running water. This is the ideal. These people need to be contacted. We need to learn from this civilization, because this is where we’re all headed if the extreme environmentalist communists get their way.
Stephen Corry, who is the director of Survivor [sic] International, says that — they support tribal people around the world — said that such tribes would soon be made extinct if their land was not protected. See, even those who are living at perfection and at one with the world are endangered by us. So somebody has to protect their land, because obviously these nomads can’t do it themselves. [emphasis mine]