Thursday, February 10, 2011

Uncontacted Tribes: Fixing Misconceptions and How You Can Help

Members of the “uncontacted” Amazon tribe in western Brazil near the Peruvian border.

Also a little delayed is showing you this piece about an uncontacted tribe in Brazil. New pictures have been released that were taken to reaffirm that the tribe exists and is in fact threatened by extensive logging and oil exploration. I forget where I read about it first, but the article included a link to this Q&A about uncontacted tribes. Not only is this page incredibly helpful in understanding what it means to be an "uncontacted", "undiscovered", or "lost" tribe, but I feel the questions and answers are applicable to debunking the stereotypes and misconceptions we have about all indigenous, non-Western peoples, both past and present. Of course there is no such thing as a "lost" tribe; everyone has neighbors. Of course they have not been living exactly the same way for centuries; all human beings and living social organisms evolve and change. I highly recommend bookmarking this Q&A for the future and even sharing it with people you share things with. Additionally, the page provides a number of opportunities for being involved in the protection of uncontacted Indians of Peru, including writing a letter to the Peruvian government, contacting your local Peruvian embassy, or writing to your Senators and members of Congress.

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