Photo of Amazon Tribe Not a Hoax | LiveScience:

Well, sometimes, what may seem like a hoax – isn’t. The photo of an Amazonian tribe coated in paint and shooting arrows at an aerial photographer, at first glance, screams “Hoax!“. Upon further investigation, it seems it’s actually real…

 The photographs were released in late May 2008 by Survival International, a London-based organization that advocates for tribal people worldwide. The release stated that ‘members of one of the world’s last uncontacted tribes have been spotted and photographed from the air,’ and quoted the Brazilian government photographer saying, ‘there are some who doubt [the tribe’s] existence’ as justification for flying over the site and taking the pictures.’

Some of the media published the images with stories saying the tribe had been previously “lost.”. Suspicions about the organization’s motivations and the authenticity of the scene were raised. On June 22, The Observer, a London-based newspaper, ran a story, “Secret of the ‘lost’ tribe that wasn’t,” saying that the tribe’s existence “has been noted since 1910.” A succession of other stories followed on the Web, claiming that reports of the tribe’s discovery were a hoax

Two days later, Survival International released a statement to try to clarify things, including: “The story is not a hoax, and none of those involved in working to protect these Indians’ rights have ever claimed they were ‘undiscovered.'”

“Some of the media got very carried away and started talking about undiscovered tribes,” Watson told LiveScience (from where this article originated). “There was this interpretation that this was a completely new tribe, completely undiscovered, without bothering to check with sources. Neither the Brazilian government nor Survival International has ever used that word, and ‘uncontacted‘ means they don’t have any contact with outsiders.” Tribes like this one, “whilst not ‘lost,’ simply reject contact with the outside world.”

The good news? The photos have had a positive effect. The Peruvian government has since “formed a commission of experts to look into the illegal logging and into the status of the uncontacted groups on the Peru side,” Watson said.


Story courtesy LiveScience:
Image courtesy:  Survival International on May 29, 2008:  Uncontacted Indians in Brazil seen from the air, May 2008 © Gleison Miranda/FUNAI

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