The first hint of human existence on earth appeared 4 million years ago in a total life span of 13.6 billion years, the age of the cosmos. Passing through various stages of evolution, until 2017, Donald Trump, colonization of Mars, connecting Elon Musk’s brain with a man-made machine, the emerging far-right are the new worries for humans, mostly to those who believe in a young-earth. Among all the crisis in a more chaotic everyday world, there are still vast swathes of land that are not inhabited by human innovation and hypocrisy.
There exists a comfortable, ethereal peace in the middle of a battlefield, where lives are busy pursuing material and wealth in some places and the others filled with hues and cries pleading for lives. There are people – inhabiting this very same earth as you and I- that are untouched by innovation and its urge to strive for a better life. Births and the continuing battles for non humiliating deaths do not attract their attention. For them, life at its most basic level is still livable. The uncontacted peoples on earth. They are busy living at peace, until recently when our disgusting desires for wealth had started intruding their civilized lives.
The civilized world may know only a little about these uncontacted tribes. But, experts say that these tribes are not totally living in an oblivion without any hint about the civilized world existing around them. Quite often, there have been encounters, sometimes violent ones, in which members of these hidden communities are spotted by human beings of the mainstream civilization.
Fear and the uncontacted peoples
The uncontacted peoples are not just one community living in one corner of this planet. They are distributed all across the globe. According to an estimate made in 2013, there are possibly around 100 isolated and uncontacted tribes in the world living in the deep forests of New Guinea, Central African and South America. Another report from BBC states that there are around 100 such tribes living in Brazil alone with more living in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Northern Paraguay in the Americas.
“The environment is not separate from ourselves. We’re inside it, and it is inside us. We make it and it makes us.” Yanomami, Brazil
In the last week of June 2014, Funai (National Indian Foundation), a Brazilian government body that is responsible for indigenous affairs says that, seven members of an unknown tribe has emerged out of the Amazon and made peaceful contact with Ashaninka Indians and Funai servers in the Brazilian state of Acre. These people were forced to make contact because of the illegal wrong doings of cocaine traffickers and loggers in Peru.
Peru is the only country that permits export of Mahogany wood, often called as Red Gold and the illegal logging of one of the most coveted timber has made the species almost extinct in Peru. Peruvian government also allows logging companies to clear forest areas that leaves the indigenous tribes in the lurch.
Fear and destruction by the intruders are the reasons why indigenous tribes are reluctant about making contacts. They have been massacred by the visitors making them fearful of the modern men and they have passed their fear for civilized men as a message to their descendants until today.
These tribes are not immune to some of the common diseases in the main land and any trespassing into their region can bring them ailments with no cure readily available. Some of the missionaries have introduced them to viruses and bacteria in an effort to save them by making contacts.
The Sentinelese – The Most Uncontacted People in the world
In the eastern Bay of Bengal, in India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands lives the most isolated or uncontacted tribe in the world, the Sentinelese. They are considered to be the direct descendants of the early men migrated from Africa. They are also considered to be the most dangerous tribe that lives through hunting and gathering. Nothing is known about their culture, or language. It is estimated that between 40 and 200 members of this scheduled tribe exists.
The Indian authorities wanted to check on the Sentinelese and their survival after Tsunami in 2004 and had sent an helicopter and found to their surprise that the tribe survived the disaster unscathed without any support from the modern world. Instead, signalling that they don’t need any intervention from the external world, a man had came running and pointed an arrow at the helicopter.
In 2006, the Sentinelese killed two fishermen who were fishing within the close ranges of the isolated island. A helicopter that was sent to collect the dead bodies returned empty hands when it was shot a volley of arrows and was forcefully returned away by the Sentinelese.
What makes it a threat for the existence of the uncontacted tribes is their lack of immunity against diseases, apart from the external danger posed by modern civilization and its men. They have chosen to be away from the modern world for a reason despite knowing its existence. But the destiny of the uncontacted tribes cannot be anticipated and is possibly, cruel. Modern man too, is no exception despite his advancement.