Tag Archive: uncontacted tribes


The fuss over Survival International’s “uncontacted tribes” (see my earlier piece) hasn’t ceased — the Huffington Post and others continue to spread the original news largely uncritically. (William at the excellent Integral Options Cafe shared that news, but has now kindly amended his post in response to my own comment regarding it.)

Now Greg Downey at Neuroanthropology has stepped in to clarify things in much greater detail than I could possibly have done. His ‘The last free people on the planet’ is a very well balanced and informative summary which, while it raises the question of what it means to be “free” and especially “last,” renders the issue much more understandable.

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Thanks to the “Jungles” segment of BBC’s Human Planet series, Survival International’s photos of an “uncontacted tribe” in the Amazon are making the rounds once again — see Environmental Graffiti’s “Images of the Last Uncontacted Tribe on Earth“, Ron Burnett’s “Never Before Seen Footage of an Amazonian Tribe,” and MSNBC’s PhotoBlog. The rhetoric here — “last uncontacted tribe on Earth,” “never before seen footage”, etc. (Burnett should know better!) — sounds as if it’s right out of a nineteenth century circus sideshow.

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