Isolated People Discovered in Brazil

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A new isolated tribe has been discovered in the Amazon, proving the existence of groups in the area believed to have never had contact with the outside world.

For more on the unreached tribal groups, watch Bob Creeson, with Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Brazil's National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) released photos of the indigenous tribe, Friday. Some of the pictures taken from an airplane show men covered in red paint with bows and arrows pointed at the camera. Others show parts of six large huts and tribe members standing painted in black.

"The most important aspect of this new discovery is that we are looking at a group that is much more established. The photographs show them already living in villages, which is very interesting," anthropologist Lindomar Padilha said.

Jose Carlos dos Reis Meirelles heads the FUNAI environmental protection department that took the pictures.

"We have been watching this isolated indigenous community for at least 20 years," he said. "The idea in revealing the photos was to raise the alarm over the risk threatening them."

More than 100 uncontacted tribes are believed to still exist today, with most of them in Brazil and Peru. But Meirelles says illegal logging in the countries have pushed the tribes further away from their habitat and may soon put them in danger.

"Peruvian authorities recently said this indigenous community doesn't exist. Well, they do exist and they are facing an enormous risk," he said.

Survival International, a British group that lobbies for indigenous people worldwide, estimates 500 isolated people are living on the Brazilian border.

"The world needs to wake up to this, and ensure that their territory is protected in accordance with international law. Otherwise, they will soon be made extinct," Stephen Corry, the group's director said.

The people are also at risk of disease their bodies have no defense over, including less serious illnesses like chicken pox and the common cold.

Sources: ABC News, AFP, BBC News

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