Indigenous groups such as the Yanomamo and Kayapo have been living in the Amazon for thousands of years, slowly accumulating a detailed knowledge of the rainforest and methods to subsist from it.
In Brazil, particularly, most native tribes who were living in the land by 1500 are thought to be descended from the first Siberian wave of migrants, who are believed to have crossed the Bering Land Bridge at the end of the last Ice Age, between 13,000 and 17,000 years before the present.
Approximately 100 Ayoreo people, some of whom are in the Totobiegosode tribe, live uncontacted in the forest. They are the last uncontacted peoples south of the Amazon basin, and are in Amotocodie. Threats to them include rampant illegal deforestation.
The most widely spoken language in the Amazon is Portuguese followed closely by Spanish.
Not only do millions of species of plants and animals live in rainforests, but people also call the rainforest their home. In fact, indigenous, or native, peoples have lived in rainforests for many thousands of years.
While the world is more connected than ever, there are still isolated pockets of people around the world. It’s hard to know how many “uncontacted” tribes exist today, but the advocacy group Survival International estimates that there are more than 100 around the world.
The Sentinelese are perhaps the most aggressive uncontacted tribe that exists. Nearly every attempt at contact has ended in disaster and sometimes death. Below are six accounts of these attempts at contact.
Collectively, the Khoikhoi and San are called the Khoisan and are often called the world’s first or oldest people. Like the San, the Nama share DNA with some of the oldest groups of humans. Today, very few pure Nama people exist because of intermarriage with other tribes and a smallpox outbreaks in the 18th century.
‘ Members of the Kulina (or Culina) tribe have been accused of killing a man, variously reported as a handicapped student and cattle farmer, and eating his heart and thighs in a ‘ cannibalistic ritual’. The Kulina live in the remote Amazon forest – some in Brazil, others in Peru.
North Sentinel Island is one of the Andaman Islands, an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal which also includes South Sentinel Island. It is home to the Sentinelese, an indigenous people in voluntary isolation who have defended, often by force, their protected isolation from the outside world.
The Sentinelese live on North Sentinel Island in the Andaman Islands, which are in the Bay of Bengal and administered by India. The island lies off the southwest coast of South Andaman Island, about 64 km (35 nmi) west of Andaman capital Port Blair.
There are thought to be around 15 uncontacted tribes in Peru, a handful in other Amazonian countries, a few dozen in the Indonesian part of the island of New Guinea and two tribes in the Andaman Islands off the coast of India. There may also be some in Malaysia and central Africa.
White Amazonian Indians or White Indians is a term first applied to sightings or encounters with mysterious white skinned natives of the Amazon Rainforest from the 16th century by Spanish missionaries.
In the depths of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil live tribes who have no contact with the outside world. Illegal loggers and cattle ranchers are invading their land and bringing disease. Some uncontacted tribes are tragically down to their very last members. Here are some of the most threatened.
The Amazon is the world’s largest rainforest. It is also the ancestral home of 1 million Indians. They are divided into about 400 tribes, each with its own language, culture and territory. Many have had contact with outsiders for almost 500 years.