SAO PAULO – Nobody knows his name. Nobody knows the names of the people he comes from. And he seems to have lived alone in the Brazilian Amazon for 22 years.
The video published for the first time this week by the Indian Foundation of Brazil shows rare images of a so-called uncontacted native who would be the last survivor of his tribe. The footage was shot in 2011, although a team following him said he saw evidence that he was alive in May.
Shaky images taken from far across the foliage show a man felling a tree. The sound of his ax hits the trunk and the calls of birds can be heard.
The video's output followed a press report that noted that there was only one human image, captured by a documentary filmmaker in the 1990s
Altair Algayer, coordinator of the team that monitors the man, said that the foundation was reluctant to publish the video because she could not ask for the consent of the man. But he also noted that such images help to draw attention to the fate of people struggling to stay out of the outside world.
"A lot of people are looking (this video) like, how can it be seen, is it still alive," Algayer said in a phone interview. I think that ends up helping to protect the territory.
Brazil is home to several "isolated" peoples whose lands, like those of many indigenous groups, are increasingly threatened as the resource rush of the Amazon intensifies. Last year, 71 people were killed in land disputes, the most since 2003, according to the Pastoral Land Commission, which monitors the violence.
The Indian Foundation has been monitoring the man since 1996, when he found himself alone in the forest of Rondonia state. He believes that the encroachment and attacks of farmers and loggers that began in the 1980s decimated the human tribe. The last of his compatriots seems to have been killed during an attack in 1995 or 1996. However, in recent years no one has tried to enter the protected area where he lives, according to the foundation. .
The team that follows him calls "the Indian's hole" because of an unusual hole that he dug, says Algayer.
"We do not know who he belongs to," said Algayer, who adds that the man appears to be in good health. and between 55 and 60.
The policy of the foundation is to allow such people to live isolated, but the foundation's members first tried to make contact with the man since he was alone and they thought he was in danger. The man specified that he did not want any contact, and the foundation has not tried it since 2005.
Every two months, a team enters its territory to look for signs that He is still alive. They do not always see it – the last time they did it in 2016 – but they are able to say that he is still alive by the footsteps that he leaves behind. A mission in May found fresh footprints and a freshly cut tree.
They left tools and seeds for humans, and they saw that he planted corn, potatoes, papayas and bananas. We do not know anything, even after losing everything, including his people and a series of cultural practices, proved that even like that, alone in the forest, it is possible to survive and resist the integration into the company "by the foundation." I believe it is much better than if, long ago, he had made contact. "