The Uncontacted Tribe

by

The Mashco-Piro

Survival International Releases Photos Of Uncontacted Tribe
From: Andean Air Mail and Peruvian Times

Survival International, the London-based indigenous rights group, has released up-close pictures of a family of the uncontacted Mashco-Piro tribe, known to live in the Manu National Park in in the Amazonian basin in south-east Peru.

The Mashco-Piro are one of about 100 uncontacted tribes in the world, according to Survival. “Today’s photos are the most detailed sightings of uncontacted Indians ever recorded on camera,” Survival says.

Survival says sightings of the Mashco-Piro have increased in recent months. “Many blame illegal logging in and around the park and low flying helicopters from nearby oil and gas projects, for forcibly displacing the Indians from their forest homes,” Survival says.

“But the danger of contacting tribes who choose to remain isolated was reaffirmed by the recent death of an indigenous Matsigenka man,” Survival says. Nicolas “Shaco” Flores had left food and gifts for the Mashco-Piro for some 20 years. However, he was recently killed by one of the tribe’s arrows. “In this tragic incident, the Mashco-Piro have once again expressed their adamant desire to be left alone,” wrote Glenn Shepard, an anthropologist and friend of Flores.

Leave well enough alone

Shephard says in a post on his blog that the Mascho-Piro are likely descendants of the Mashcos people, who in the late 19th century were “massacred and displaced” by Peruvian rubber baron Carlos Fermin Fitzcarrald.  “Surviving Mashcos, including a group speaking a language similar to Piro—hence ‘Mashco-Piro’—abandoned their gardens and fled to the forest, subsisting on game and fruits and vigorously avoiding all contact with outsiders since then,” explains Shephard.

“First contact is always dangerous and frequently fatal – both for the tribe and those attempting to contact them,” says Stephen Corry, Survival’s director. “The Indians’ wish to be left alone should be respected.” Anthropologist Beatriz Huertas says authorities need to implement preventative measures to avoid similar incidents in the future. “Contact could happen at any time,” Huertas was reported as saying.

More about this article here..

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