A remarkable video of a bare-chested man with a spear believed to be a member of the uncontacted Amazonian Awá tribe has surfaced on the internet.
The Awá has been described as the world’s most threatened tribe by the NGO Survival International. The existence of the tribe has been called into question in recent years, but the video proves that some remain in self-imposed isolation, fearful the consequence of commercial interests that harm the Brazilian rainforest.
Filmed by the neighbouring Guajajara tribe, the clip was released by an indigenous media group that wants to raise awareness against illegal loggers and miners who threaten the Amazon forest.
The tribesman can be seen sniffing a machete left behind in the forest before he realises he is being filmed and flees the spot. The Guajajara tribe regularly patrol the forests to monitor incursions and evict loggers, reported Survival International.
Olimpio Guajajara, Coordinator of the Guardians of the Amazon, told the NGO, “We Guardians are defending our people’s rights, defending the uncontacted Indians, and defending nature for all of us. Three of our Guardians have been assassinated. We need the land to be protected for good.”
“We hope this film produces something positive,” Flay Guajajara, who shot the video while out hunting and released it through the Mídia Índia platform, said, reported The Guardian. “We hope it makes an impact around the world to help protect our people and our forest.”
The footage is of special significance as, with President Jair Bolsonaro in charge, loggers and miners have been emboldened to conduct commercial activities in Brazil – which has resulted in large parts of the forest being cleared, according to news reports.