Sunday, June 1, 2008

Forest of the Damned

Did ya’ll see this news item on the weekend? New photos of a tribe of people living deep in the Brazilian rainforests near the border of Peru.

Apparently, the country’s National Indian Foundation has known about this tribe, and three others like them, for over 20 years and is releasing photos now to bring attention to the fact that their existence is being threatened as the deforestation of the rainforest accelerates.

The government of Peru/Brazil is claiming the tribe doesn’t exist. The National Indian Foundation wants to ensure that the tribes are left isolated. Contact with the rest of the world would quickly wipe them out. Other isolated tribes who came into contact with “civilization" quickly died off – many of them from the common cold.

A British lobby group called, Survival International says there are more than 100 uncontacted indigenous tribes throughout the world.

I think this is awesome, in the true sense of the word. With all the crap that has gone on, and is going on in the world, there are people who are blissfully unaware of it all.

Of course, the experts are saying that the tribes "ethically" can't be kept from contact forever and that the answer is to have the kind of contact and change that the tribes themselves manage the pace of.

Given a choice, I wonder if the tribes might not just ask to be left the hell alone.


Anonymous said...

One would assume that if you live that lifestyle, then you're probably happy with it the way it is. Minus the whole deforestation, of course.

Sounds to me almost as if the government is just doing this to bring attention to their cause, rather than the well-being of the tribe.

A Happy Downtowner said...

I so agree with this. I remember thinking when I saw this, "why the hell do we need to know about them? why not leave them alone?" they don't need to be exposed to whatever the so called civilized people can bring them.

I hope they stay where they are, blissfully unaware of the rest of the world.

Becky said...

If someone wants to "help" them, they just want their land.

Robin said...

They are throwing spears at the helicopter as it photographs them. Hmmm. Wonder what they mean by that?

Newsguy Bob said...

You can't miss what you don't know, right?
The human thing to do would be to leave them and their land/habitat the hell alone.
Other peoples' experience with them should be no more than their own version of "take only photographs, leave only footprints."

Kimberly said...

War? Disease? Gas prices? Government programs? Health care? (just to name a few)

Something tells me they're better off being left alone.

Hunters Glory said...

robin is right on....they seem to be getting along fine without us, and have for years!

'welcome mat' apparently not visible from our view.

leave them the hell alone

JB said...

Can't imagine how they've gone this long without a Starbucks.

Actually, something similar (spears being thrown at choopers) happened around the time people were flying around the coastlines of South Asia after the tsunami. Remote tribespeople saw the choppers, and started throwing spears.
I'm sure I'd do the same thing if I were in that situation, and many days I wish I were in that situation. Remote, removed, blissfully living off the land for the brief time we have here.
Maybe that's too romanticized, but I'm sure it has its advantages.

...Of course, I wouldn't get to comment here, which might take some ...adjustment.

But that guy on the far right in the picture, kinda crouching? I'm pretty sure I went to high school with him.

XUP said...

Chris- I wonder if they think of the whole loincloth/hunting with spear thing as a “lifestyle’? I think the so-called ethical thing the experts are worried about is that these tribes are going to come smack-face with civilization sooner or later anyway since we’re plowing down their habitats at an alarming rate. So the nice thing would be to give them some warning other than the strange silver birds that fly over them once in a while.

HD – it would be nice. If only we could live without that damn Brazlian hardwood flooring for our luxurious new homes….

Becky – so does everyone else -- Mitsubishi Corporation, Georgia Pacific, Texaco and Unocal – not to mention all the illegal clearing of the rainforests. One and a half acres of rainforest are lost every second!

Robin – Too bad we don’t understand their primitive language, eh? Ah well, in less than 40 years there will be no more rainforest at the current rate of deforestation.

Bob – That would be ideal, but we are greedy for rainforest land to raise cattle and sell timber. We are stupid and short-sighted. Not you, Bob, just all us civilized humans who run roughshod over our planet just so we can get more “stuff”.

Kimberley – I’m sure they’d agree with you. But, to never allow them experience Lunchables? Would that really be humane? Their diet consists of 2,000 varieties of fruits that the rest of the world has never experienced, nuts, seeds and other plant life some of which is used in our pharmaceuiticals - 25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients, including Vincristine, extracted from the rainforest plant, periwinkle, --one of the world's most powerful anticancer drugs.

Hunter – There are at least 99 more tribes like them around the world whose entire way of life will also be destroyed in the next few decades just to make ours a little cushier. This is why we need to be a lot more conscious of the things we buy – where are they coming from? How and by whom are they made? What has been sacrificed?

JB - You mean the only guy who didn't hear about the code red dress code for the day?

Hunters Glory said...

i love reading your blog and comments!

so much to discuss...

Jazz said...

I think they'd want to be left the hell alone. Damn I want to be left the hell alone most of the time.

XUP said...

Hunter – Thanks. I don’t reckon we’re going to solve any problems here, but it’s good to give a little thought to these things.

Jazz- I don’t think that’s going to happen, unfortunately. I imagine it’s not a big issue for the corporate world since it only involves the lives of a few thousand people vs the potential of a lot of money.