It was a close encounter of the rarest kind. In a new video, a previously isolated indigenous tribe from the Amazon comes face to face with the outside world. Brazil's National Indigenous Foundation said it has been monitoring the group since 2008, but direct contact was not made until June, and the video wasn’t made public until this week. The footage shows the tribesmen's contact with members of the Ashaninka community in the state of Acre in northwestern Brazil, near the Peru border. Some of the tribesmen are armed with bows and other weapons – one is seen holding a shotgun – but the initial contact appears peaceful. In an extended video, one Ashaninka indian in shorts can be seen approaching the two tribesmen to offer them bananas. Later, the tribesman venture closer to the houses and grab weapons.
According to Terra magazine, tribes are seeking protection on the Brazilian side because they are being attacked by Peruvian loggers and drug traffickers. Researchers say they are working to contain the group and protect its integrity and environment.
-- Emmanuelle Saliba