a tribe disappears in silence

An entire tribe has just disappeared in Brazil… with the death of its last representative. Although it is surely not the only isolated group in the Amazon that has disappeared over the generations, it is the first duly documented.


One of the many huts built by man over the years. Source: Survival International.

He was known only as “the man in the hole” (Indio do Buraco) due to the dozens of holes he had dug over the years in the neighborhood (The notion of neighborhood corresponds to an axiomatic approach equivalent to that of…) of his huts. He was found dead (Death is the final state of a biological organism that ceases to live (even if…) on August 23 by a routine aboriginal protection agency patrol. He was around 60 years old and living in isolation total (Total is the quality of complete, without exception. From an accounting point of view, a…) for 26 years. An indigenous affairs expert, Marcelo dos Santos, is cited (The city (Latin civitas) is a word designating, in Antiquity before the…) in the media (We call media an impersonal means of disseminating information (such as the press, radio, etc.) locals that nothing in his hut showed signs of an incursion.

The group to which he belonged was known only by the name of the region he had occupied, Tanaru, on the borders of Brazil and Bolivia. The BBC reports that most of the last representatives were killed in the 1970s by ranchers eager to expand their land in this part of the forest (A forest or a forest massif is a wooded expanse, relatively dense,…) Amazonian. Six of the survivors were killed in 1995 in an attack by illegal mining prospectors. Access to “territory (The notion of territory has taken on increasing importance in geography and in particular in…) native Tanaru” had been banned to non-natives in 1998 by the Brazilian government. But as the man avoided everything (The whole understood as the whole of what exists is often interpreted as the world or…) contact, his tribe, and the language he spoke, will likely remain a mystery.

Besides that some of the holes had been used to capture animals, local media report tracks (TRACES (TRAde Control and Expert System) is a veterinary health network of…) suggesting that he was planting corn (Corn (also called Indian corn in Canada) is a tropical plant…) and cassava (Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is a perennial shrub of the Euphorbiaceae family,…) and that he collected honey.

The Survival International group lists around 300 “indigenous tribes” in Brazil, most of them threatened or harassed by mining prospecting or logging. They would total 900,000 people. The territories allocated to them represent 13% of Brazil, but several of these “reserves” have been disputed in recent years, particularly under the Bolsonaro government.

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