Footage of the World’s Last Uncontacted Tribe, Deep in the Brazilian Amazon

Here we have the first aer­i­al footage of an uncon­tact­ed tribe liv­ing in the Brazil­ian Ama­zon – a peo­ple liv­ing entire­ly apart from civ­i­liza­tion as we know it. The short clip, filmed for the BBC show Human Plan­et, fol­lows Jose Car­los Meirelles, who works on behalf of the Brazil­ian gov­ern­ment to safe­guard the coun­try’s indige­nous peo­ple. The liveli­hood of these indige­nous peo­ples is con­stant­ly threat­ened by ille­gal min­ing and log­ging. And it’s Meirelles’s mis­sion to pro­tect this pop­u­la­tion by pub­li­ciz­ing their exis­tence. This footage was filmed at 1 KM dis­tance with a long tele­pho­to lens to min­i­mize dis­tur­bance. To learn more about this and oth­er uncon­tact­ed tribes, vis­it

via @AlyssaMilano

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Comments (10)
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  • janmejay singh says:

    ‘See­ing is believ­ing’ is an apolo­getic punch line. Image is sim­u­lacrum, but there is no need to pre­empt that atti­tude if we just believe.

  • janmejay singh says:

    Makes me think, maybe the pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with aliens is some­thing more than mere pro­jec­tion of our own future. What would Meirelles be to these tribes when they look up at his fly­ing object? Do these tribes imag­ine this future in their dia­logue? Shows how active­ly we in 21st cen­tu­ry con­sti­tute our future.

  • DJ says:

    “they are the last free peo­ple on this plan­et”
    in a time where so much war is jus­ti­fied with the con­cept of “free­dom” i find that a very inter­est­ing state­ment. and even when look­ing at my own, rather lib­er­tar­i­an, life, i find myself think­ing it might be true.

  • Sarah T says:

    If we could ask them, how do you think they’d respond to being pub­li­cised like a zoo attrac­tion? They’re not free, they’re igno­rant. It’s a hor­ri­ble catch 22 but how can they have any idea what their choic­es are with­out those choic­es being dev­as­tat­ing­ly lim­it­ed. Would they thank us for intrud­ing on their lives, prob­a­bly not, but con­verse­ly, would they thank us for leav­ing them out of ours, leav­ing them alone, igno­rant and vul­ner­a­ble in a world that has moved on so much, I doubt that too. They should­n’t be our respon­si­bil­i­ty, and I think they’d be hor­ri­fied that we view them in the way we do, as curiosi­ties, but they are our respon­si­bil­i­ty, and there’s no way we can do the right thing here.
    They must be a proud, resource­ful, and mighty peo­ple to sur­vive in ways we no longer remem­ber how, and it sad­dens me that we regard them as prim­i­tives in need of pro­tec­tion, and it sad­dens me that this is actu­al­ly the case.

  • jdub says:

    i dont real­ly think its fair of him to go in and dis­rupt their way of life. they have no idea about our tech­nol­o­gy so im assum­ing that small plane did noth­ing but fright­en them much like we’d prob­a­bly be fright­ened if we saw an alien space­ship in the sky.

  • Claudio says:

    “mis­sion to pro­tect this pop­u­la­tion by pub­li­ciz­ing their exis­tence” — I am not sure of how one thing would help with the oth­er.
    I think it is our respon­si­bil­i­ty to try to res­cue them from the stone age and bring them into the mod­ern times, where they might have access to decent med­i­cine and good qual­i­ty of life; not to men­tion to be put away from the dan­gers of the jun­gle.
    If a space­ship land­ed on Earth that is what we would like to have, a share of the knowl­edge and the progress of the more advanced civ­i­liza­tion.
    Not to be treat­ed as a zoo attrac­tion, as already men­tioned above.

  • Nuno Ferreira says:

    Hi Clau­dio, your com­ment sounds some­how log­i­cal. But when i remem­ber all the cultures(knowledges,ways of life,freedom) that were and still are being lost in our soci­ety, with the (huge) “bad side” of glob­al­iza­tion… your opin­ion starts to not make sense to me…if this com­mu­ni­ty real­ly exists and resists maybe it’s a real sign that their tra­di­tion­al med­i­cines work and that they always know how to pro­tect them­selves from the “dan­gers of the jun­gle” (which for them is just their nat­ur­al habitat)According to his­to­ry the biggest dan­ger comes from out­side ;-)
    Also I think that if they were not hap­py where they live…they would start look­ing for anoth­er place…that is a nat­ur­al human char­ac­ter­is­tic, like bio­log­i­cal adap­ta­tion and solu­tion find­ing.

    Accord­ing to the “Zoo atraction“subject… today there are many knowned tribe com­mu­ni­ties which are pro­tect­ed, and that every­body, as an inter­est­ed tourist can vis­it. Wrong or right, who vis­its them will learn a lot,and the tribes can go on most of their way of liv­ing… that they have been con­tin­u­ing since thou­sands of years from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion.


  • Claudio says:

    It seems to me that if we apply Nuno’s view at face val­ue we should also con­sid­er pre­serv­ing cul­tur­al prac­tices like
    1. Infan­ti­cides (Africa and Brazil­ian tribes, as far as I am aware of)
    2. Female gen­i­tal muti­la­tion (Africa and Near East)
    3. Legal ampu­ta­tions (all around the world)
    Of course all “ways of live” are part of the human cul­tur­al bag­gage and as such they must be well doc­u­ment­ed for the ben­e­fit of future gen­er­a­tions. For exam­ple, as a good les­son of what should not be repeat­ed.
    Need­less to say that even with­out direct inter­ven­tion, cul­tures do dis­ap­pear and pop­u­la­tions do get iso­lat­ed — most­ly in result from the lack of sci­en­tif­ic and tech­no­log­i­cal progress. Decay and extinc­tion are present also in biol­o­gy, with the extinc­tion of species, and in the geol­o­gy (not to men­tion in the plan­e­tary realm).
    One pic­ture I once saw (not too long ago) in a dai­ly news­pa­per let a strong impres­sion on me. It was a group of peo­ple from the remote coun­try­side of Brazil watch­ing TV for the very first time in their lives, their eyes shin­ing in total amaze­ment.
    If dur­ing your entire life you ate worms and saw peo­ple dying around you in mis­er­able con­di­tions at a young age, then you will still find some degree of hap­pi­ness. That is the most won­der­ful char­ac­ter­is­tic of humans beings: adap­ta­tion.
    But should we go ahead and intro­duce that first group of peo­ple to the Inter­net? What about that tribe? Should we pre­vent their young peo­ple from dying in con­se­quence of pre­ventable dis­eases?
    At the end, I real­ly can’t fig­ure out one good exam­ple of a closed and iso­lat­ed soci­ety in which knowl­edge and free­dom have thrived.

  • Robbie Flett says:

    Give them pro­tec­tion while leav­ing them very much alone. No Ama­zon tribes have ben­e­fit­ed from con­tact. They have been dec­i­mat­ed from dis­ease and left with no cul­ture, iden­ti­ty or pur­pose in life. They are infi­nite­ly bet­ter off liv­ing as they have for thou­sands of years.

  • igor andrade says:

    they have banana and papaya… i don’t think they are an “uncon­tactec tribe”.

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