In an extraordinary encounter, a group of 89 uncontacted Indians suddenly appeared in an Indian community in the Brazilian state of Pará last week. The Indians had travelled through the forest for five days, probably fleeing from attacks by loggers or miners.
The area has been sealed off to protect the isolated group from diseases which could be fatal to them.
The first contact was reportedly made by two men who made noises outside a house and were spotted by two young people. The men were appealing for help. Later the rest of the group came out of the forest and camped near the village, where one of the women gave birth.
The uncontacted group, like the villagers, are Metyktire Indians. The Metyktire are a sub-group of the Kayapó tribe. They made first contact with Brazilians in 1950, but the group, which has just appeared chose to remain in isolation. Many Metyktire believed that over the years the isolated group had all died.
After the initial shock of meeting their kin after fifty years, the group of uncontacted Metyktire began to sing and dance with emotion. Their songs were recorded and played over two-way radio to other Kayapó communities.
One Kayapó Indian reports, "Their language is much more original than ours. When I heard them talking on the radio I didn't understand much of what they said, but my uncle understands them much better."
Human rights organization Survival International's director, Stephen Corry, talking about the Indians showing commented, "More than 100 uncontacted tribes exist in the world today, and many of them are being pushed to the brink by those who want their land. Over the coming weeks we will no doubt learn what led the Metyktire to make contact."
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