Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Most intimate pictures ever of one of the world's last uncontacted tribes

4:51 AM

These incredible images are the closest ever recorded of a previously uncontacted Indian tribe in the remote forests of Peru.Taken in Manú National Park, south-eastern Peru, these detailed images show the daily life of a family from the Mashco-Piro tribe.The Mashco-Piro are known to inhabit the park, but sightings of them have increased in recent months.Illegal logging in the park and low flying helicopters from nearby oil and gas projects has been blamed for driving the Indians from their forest homes.

The Mashco-Piro are one of around just 100 known uncontacted tribes who choose not to have contact with the outside world. They live a traditional life in the Peruvian forests and have little or no outside contact with the world.Families within the tribes fashion tools from wood and other materials, including the teeth of animals.

In these pictures, the adults and children are wearing decorative loops around their wrists, knees and ankles - some of which can be used to carry tools.The adult female is also wearing a form of skirt which is believed to be made from pulped tree bark fibres.The danger of attempting to establish contact with tribes who choose to remain isolated has recently been confirmed after the death of an indigenous Matsigenka man.

Nicolás 'Shaco' Flores was shot in the heart by an arrow near the national park as he was leaving food and gifts for a small group of Mashco-Piro Indians - something he had been doing for the last 20 years.Glenn Shephard, an anthropologist and friend of the victim, told Anthropology News: 'Shaco's death is a tragedy: he was kind, courageous and a knowledgeable man.'He believed he was helping the Mashco-Piro. And yet in this tragic incident, the Mashco-Piro have once again expressed their adamant desire to be left alone.'

Clan members have also been blamed for a bow-and-arrow attack which left a forest ranger wounded in October.One of the images was taken by a bird watcher in August. The other two were taken by Spanish archaeologist Diego Cortijo on November 16, six days before Flores was killed.Mr Cortijo, a member of the Spanish Geographical Society, was visiting Mr Flores on an expedition in search of petroglyphs and said clan members appeared across the river, calling for him by name.







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