Incredible footage of the last known member of an indigenous tribe who has lived in complete isolation for more than two decades has been released.
In the video, the semi-naked man who has lived alone in the Amazon for at least 22 years, can be seen vigorously cutting down a tree with an axe.
Known only as ‘the last of his kind’, the tribesman is believed to be the sole survivor of a long isolated tribe who were killed during an attack by farmers in 1995.
Altair Algayer, a regional coordinator for the Brazilian government’s indigenous peoples agency Fundação Nacional do Índio, known as FUNAI, claimed the man looks to be in fine health.
He is very well, hunting, maintaining some plantations of papaya, corn. He has good health and a good physical shape doing all those exercises.
The tribesman reportedly also hunts forest pigs, birds and monkeys with a bow and arrow and traps his prey in hidden holes filled with wooden spears.
He and his former tribe were known for digging holes which is where his nickname comes from.
Video footage of the man is vital for FUNAI in their ongoing struggle to protect the man as they must prove he is still alive to retain the restriction order protecting his land.
They fear that if the order was dropped the ranchers and farmers who surround his territory would move quickly and violently to grab the land.
In the 1970s and 80s farmers and loggers are believed to have murdered and expelled indigenous tribes living in the Amazon rainforest.
‘The last of his kind’ was first discovered in 1996 after his tribe were murdered and FUNAI have monitored him ever since.
The group work hard to avoid coming into contact with the man in the hole or any other other indigenous people.
Altair Algayer, head of FUNAI said in a statement:
This man, who none of us know, and who’s lost almost everything, including the rest of his people, proves it’s possible to survive, and resist contact. I think he’s better off as he is than if he’d made contact.
FUNAI set up the Tanaru Reserve, a protected area of land where they leave axes, machetes and other tools traditionally used by the indigenous people for the man to find.
Despite this, the last of his kind has demonstrated he wants nothing to do with mainstream society.
Fiona Watson, a research and advocacy director of Survival International, a group that works to protect indigenous peoples, has said the video is ‘extraordinary’ and praised FUNAI for preserving his 8,070 hectares of territory.
FUNAI believes there are over one hundred tribes living in the Brazilian rainforest and they’ve confirmed the existence of at least 27 of them.
While these tribes share some similarities such as hunting techniques and a similar root language they can also be wildly different from each other.
Some of these tribes are nomadic hunter-gatherers and fishers while others have rudimentary farms where they grow bananas, corn and other crops.
It’s believed that there are also a number of tribes or isolated groups in Peru who fled from rubber farmers over a hundred years ago to avoid being enslaved and have avoided contact ever since.
Over the years as more of the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed, leading to more and more remote tribes being discovered the remaining indigenous people’s traditional way of life is being disrupted.
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More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.