The Brazilian government released some dramatic pictures
of one of South America's last remaining uncontacted indigenous tribes. It says it took the pictures to prove that the tribe existed, because there apparently were some people who doubted this.
When I saw the pictures, I couldn't help but be reminded of the Stone Age Tasaday
from the Philippines. The Tasaday were a tribe that was discovered in 1971. Unlike the Brazilian tribe (who are seen shooting arrows at the helicopter taking their picture), the Tasaday were entirely non-violent. They were often called the "Gentle Tasaday." In fact, it was said that they didn't even have a word in their language for "enemy" or "conflict".
But the Tasaday were outed as a hoax in 1986. It was alleged they were actually local farmers who had been paid by the Marcos government to dress up as a Stone Age tribe. Recently, however, the tribe's reputation has been rehabilitated. The consensus among academics now seems to be that the Tasaday were, in most respects, a "real" tribe living in Stone-Age-like conditions.
The problem with calling any tribe "uncontacted" is how you define contact. I doubt there's any tribe in the world that is truly isolated. There's usually some kind of contact (trade, intermarriage, etc.) with neighboring tribes, and so bits and pieces of the modern world find their way to the tribe.
This is a total hoax as well.
When it comes to the byzantine world of post-Marcos Philippine politics, few things are as they seem on the surface. The linguistic and anthropological evidence collected by researchers over the past two decades now suggests the Tasaday really were a tribe that had been almost totally isolated for the past two hundred years.
See Robin Hemley's book, Invented Eden, for a more thorough discussion of the Tasaday case.
Yeah, I suppose it's a bit of a curse, really. To think that I could have been obsessed with something that might have made me some money, like law or medicine. Instead I fixated on hoaxes.
Man, TELL me about it! That's been the curse of my life, too.
'Lost' Amazon tribe a publicity stunt
It looks like this story is MUCH more complicated than what one sees at first glance.
You can find it here: