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Here's What It Looked Like When a Previously Isolated Amazonian Tribe Made Contact for the First Time


"They were whistling and making animal sounds."

Image source: YouTube

There's now video of that previously isolated Amazonian tribe that made contact with scientists in Brazil last month, creating a stir after they came down with the flu as it raised concern that it could spread to others.

Video shows some of the tribe members wading in a river accepting bananas as a gift. At other points in the video, the members can be seen gesturing, speaking in their native tongue and holding spears on land.

Eight members thought to be part of the Rio Xinane tribe, who live on the Brazilian-Peruvian border, made contact with the Ashaninka tribe natives in the Acre state of Brazil in late June. They were thought to be fleeing from conflict.

"The video is one of scenes recorded during the period in which the isolates had contact with the team from FUNAI and the Ashaninka," Carlos Travassos with FUNAI, Brazil's National Indian Foundation, told G1, according to an unofficial translation.

"They were whistling and making animal sounds," Travasso added, according to AFP

Image source: YouTube Members of a once isolated tribe made contact with researchers last month who learned they were seeking weapons. The tribe has experienced violence from loggers and drug traffickers. (Image source: YouTube)

The first direct contact was made on June 29 and again on June 30. The tribe members later returned to the camp on July 5 where they received treatments for the flu until July 11 before returning to their home, according to G1.

During this time though, interpreters who speak the Panoan language, were called in and learned from the tribe members that they were seeking weapons and allies, AFP reported.

"They described being attacked by non-native people and many died after coming down with the flu and diphtheria," one of the interpreters Jaminawa Jose Correia said, according to AFP.

Image source: YouTube When on shore, the tribe members tried to speak with others. Interpreters were eventually called in. (Image source: YouTube)

Image source: YouTube The tribe members accepted bananas as a gift. (Image source: YouTube)

"These people are in search of technology. This is important to their lives, because it has an internal 'war' between them and the contact with other non-indigenous groups," anthropologist Terri Aquino told G1.

Terra Magazine first obtained the footage of the contact made by the tribe. Take a look (Note: there is some tribal nudity):

Terra Magazine, which also got a look at the researchers' field notes from two encounters with the tribe members, reported (via an unofficial translation) that in a bag carried by one of the Indians was a "pipe, shirts, phosphorus Peruvian box, packaging Peruvian soap, a portfolio of Corinthians wrapped with pieces of colored thread and a jar containing a liquid, probably an anticoagulant that is applied at the tip of the arrows. There were also 32 caliber cartridge, black powder (brand Alligator), a primer, empty packet of salt (make Caicara), rubber (sernambi), three light bulbs, screws and nuts, which isolates use to load shotgun cartridges." These items were returned.

Correia told Terra that he believes the Brazilian government should do more to defend isolated tribes that are being attacked by loggers and drug traffickers.

"They said that there are five other uncontacted peoples in the region and are quite numerous groups. Despite the differences and conflicts that exist between these groups, all are pursued by Peruvian whites. Someday all these people can search for Brazil in search of protection. The Front for the Protection of the Funai Etnoambiental needs full support. It will be impossible to do something with their bare hands and nails. We can not be accomplices to genocide," Correia told the magazine.

(H/T: Business Insider)

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