At home with the Amazon Indians: Most intimate pictures ever of one of the world's last uncontacted tribes

By WIL LONGBOTTOM

New world: A family from the Mashco-Piro Indian tribe in remote south-eastern Peru has been photographed up close for the first time

These incredible images are the closest ever recorded of a previously uncontacted Indian tribe in the remote forests of Peru.
Taken in Manú National Park, south-eastern Peru, these detailed images show the daily life of a family from the Mashco-Piro tribe.
The Mashco-Piro are known to inhabit the park, but sightings of them have increased in recent months.

Isolated: Exactly a year ago this picture of another uncontacted tribe was taken from a helicopter on the border of Brazil and Peru

Illegal logging in the park and low flying helicopters from nearby oil and gas projects has been blamed for driving the Indians from their forest homes.
The Mashco-Piro are one of around just 100 known uncontacted tribes who choose not to have contact with the outside world. They live a traditional life in the Peruvian forests and have little or no outside contact with the world.
Families within the tribes fashion tools from wood and other materials, including the teeth of animals.
In these pictures, the adults and children are wearing decorative loops around their wrists, knees and ankles - some of which can be used to carry tools.
The adult female is also wearing a form of skirt which is believed to be made from pulped tree bark fibres.
The danger of attempting to establish contact with tribes who choose to remain isolated has recently been confirmed after the death of an indigenous Matsigenka man.

Content: Attempts to get in contact with the tribes have generally proved fatal for the Indians, who have no immunity to common diseases outside their forest homes

Nicolás 'Shaco' Flores was shot in the heart by an arrow near the national park as he was leaving food and gifts for a small group of Mashco-Piro Indians - something he had been doing for the last 20 years.
Glenn Shephard, an anthropologist and friend of the victim, told Anthropology News: 'Shaco's death is a tragedy: he was kind, courageous and a knowledgeable man.
'He believed he was helping the Mashco-Piro. And yet in this tragic incident, the Mashco-Piro have once again expressed their adamant desire to be left alone.'
Clan members have also been blamed for a bow-and-arrow attack which left a forest ranger wounded in October.
One of the images was taken by a bird watcher in August. The other two were taken by Spanish archaeologist Diego Cortijo on November 16, six days before Flores was killed.
Mr Cortijo, a member of the Spanish Geographical Society, was visiting Mr Flores on an expedition in search of petroglyphs and said clan members appeared across the river, calling for him by name.



Flores was able to communicate with the Mashco-Piro because he spoke two related dialects and had provided the clan with machetes and cooking pots.
The Mashco-Piro tribe is believed to number in the hundreds and lives in the park bordering Diamante, a community of around 200 people.
The clan that appeared along the river is believed to number around 60, including some 25 adults, according to Carlos Soria - a professor at Lima's Catholic University.
Mr Cortijo said: 'It seemed like they wanted to draw a bit of attention, which is a bit strange because I know that on other occasions they had attacked people.
'It seemed they didn't want us to go near them, but I also know that the only thing that they wanted was machetes and cooking pots.'

Killed: Nicolas 'Shaco' Flores, a Matsiquenka Indian, was shot in the heart by an arrow by one of the Mascho-Piro tribe members, possibly in a dispute over obtaining machetes and cooking pots

Survival's Director Stephen Corry said: 'One year later these photos provide yet more overwhelming evidence of the existence of uncontacted tribes.
'It is no longer acceptable for governments, companies or anthropologists to deny this.
'First contact is always dangerous and frequently fatal – both for the tribe and those attempting to contact them. The Indians' wish to be left alone should be respected.'
For more information on the work carried out by Survival International, visit http://www.uncontactedtribes.org or http://www.survivalinternational.org

source: dailymail

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