Remarkable images have emerged of the long lost Moxihatetema trible living in a remote part of the South American jungle.
The images show individuals from the Yanomami tribe, living in an “uncontacted” group, have set up their home in the middle of a forest in Brazil, hoping to remain undisturbed. The pictures are being used by campaigners to reignite the fight to keep the indigenous peoples safe and protect them from gold miners and disease.
The Yanomami is a large tribe with territory straddling Brazil and Venezuela. The 35,000-strong tribe, dating back thousands of years, forms hundreds of smaller groups, approximately three of which live in complete isolation from their indigenous relatives and the outside world – “uncontacted” groups.
Now, aerial photos have emerged showing one these groups – of approximately 100 individuals – living close to the Venezuelan border. Some may never have seen anyone from outside of their group. Contacted groups, on the other hand, are less afraid of other Yanomami groups and the outside world. The photos, considered the best yet of an uncontacted group, show the individuals inside a yano, a large house in which several families live together.
Shaman and activist Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, president of the Yanomami association Hutukara, said: “The place where the uncontacted Indians live, fish, hunt and plant must be protected.
“The whole world must know that they are there in their forest and that the authorities must respect their right to live there.”
Speaking about the miners, he said: “They are like termites – they keep coming back and they don’t leave us in peace.”
Survival International says the area is under threat from more than 5,000 illegal gold miners who are taking over the land.
Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said: “These extraordinary images are further proof of the existence of still more uncontacted tribes. They’re not savages but complex and contemporary societies whose rights must be respected. It’s obvious that they’re perfectly capable of living successfully without the need for outside notions of “progress” and “development.” All uncontacted tribal peoples face catastrophe unless their land is protected. We’re doing everything we can to secure their land for them, and to give them the chance to determine their own futures.”