In times when Man has been able to map the geography of not only his own planet but also of plenty others in his vicinity, there are some people and groups of people who are still living miles away from the modernization of our age. While it’s hard for most of us to go without using or being in contact with the products of modern times these tribal groups are living in isolation and practicing traditions passed down to them through words of mouth by their ancestors. Anthropologists have often wondered how many such groups could possibly exist out there. Rebecca Spooner, one of the specialists at the London-based organization Survival International says, that there are more than 100 such tribal uncontacted tribes. Most of them are living in the Amazon and areas of New Guinea. Peru too has reported more than 15 such uncontacted tribes. Most researchers say that these tribes are in reality “voluntarily isolated” rather than uncontacted. And there are many reasons as to why these tribes have avoided contact or civilization all together. Many of these tribes are being forced into settling because of Oil & Mining companies and the land mafia at work in the countries of South America. Their homes have been bulldozed and often they have been harassed if they refuse to settle. But even after these pressures from our civilization there are some tribes which owing to their survival skills have managed to maintain distance from civilizations and societies and still live their lives in the wild. Here’s a list of such top 10 rare tribes that civilization hasn’t been able to track down as yet-
Khanty is a semi-nomadic tribe that lives in the upper reaches of the Siberian stretch in the state of Russia. They have been known to reside in the area since the 19th century and live off hunting game in and often trading with other indigenous people. After the Industrialization kicked in the Tsarist Russia and Trans Siberia railway line made Khanty move further up and some of the groups split from the main branch of the tribe. In the times of Soviet Russia some of them were caught and made to settle. They were forced to learn the language, give up their religion and often forced to work as laborers. However, some groups of the tribe still live yet to be contacted in a climate where temperature drops to below -50 degrees in the winter.
9. Pintupi Aboriginals
Pintupi live in the outback of Australia and successfully avoided contact with the modern world till the last couple of decades. They are nomadic and often keep shifting places. They were first spotted by a westernized aboriginal. The white men who followed were mistaken for spirit by the pintupi aboriginals. Some contact has been established with the tribe following the first contact but majorly they live out there on their own without any aid from our modern world.
8. Korowai Tribe
Korowai tribes live in the thick jungles of Papua in Indonesia. Their customs and beliefs are known from the survey done in 2010. They believed that If they ever move from their home ground the entire world will be destroyed by an earthquake. They are also considered a merry bunch of pranksters since many anthropologists who have ventured into their area have been pranked and made fun of by the Korowai Men. In any case, they believe they have the right to decide how they want to live.
7. The Awa
Awa is one of the tribes which is very endangered as of now. For centuries they have lived in isolation from the world and survived on the game that the men recover from the forest. Recently, Survival International established contact with one of the groups of the Awa tribe and launched a campaign to save the remaining uncontacted awa from the likes of land encroachers and groups which are forcing them to settle.
6. Block 67, Peru
Block 67 in Peru has been a source of debate among the various organizations working for the uncontacted tribes. One of the largest Petroleum reserves was discovered in this area, following which the Peruvian government sent a team of Anthropologists, historians, linguists and health officers to check the area for traces of any tribes or people living in isolation. The final report said that the area had no people living in it, but the anthropologists privately have stated that there were evidences of leaf shelters, arrow heads and other artifacts that proved otherwise. However since in a court of law the plaintiff has to appear in person, the statements of other indigenous groups and personal opinions of anthropologists hardly count against the nonappearance of the plaintiff. Thus the area since then remains a source of conflict.
5. The Ruc people- Vietnam
Ruc people live in the Quang Binh province of Vietnam. They survive on hunting and gathering. When they were first spotted by the North Vietnamese soldiers there was a huge conflict with the communist government since it planned on relocating them. Many turned militant and launched a violent protest against the government. Some of these groups still remain in the forest away from the modern world though they continuously face a threat on their homes.
4. Brazilian Tribe
For the first time this tribe was spotted on the Brazil-Peruvian border by an airplane flying over the area. Since then the FUNAI- the department for establishing contact with the Indians in the amazon has made several attempts to fly over the area to observe their lifestyle. They live in Thatched huts and have their faces painted in shades of red. FUNAI and Survival International both report that this is one of the biggest tribes in the area which lives isolated. Some male tribesmen even shot arrows at the airplanes clearly gesturing towards their unwillingness to establish any contact. Due to lobbying by many NGOs the FUNAI has suspended its operations and given the tribe space to live as they want to.
There are more than 15 uncontacted tribes in Peru. One of these was accidently discovered by a group of tourists and recorded on the camera. Initially behaving aggressively later the tribesmen calmed down and stared with wonder at these strange clothed men. The tribesmen hardly wore any clothes and were recorded eating fruits and berries like a stereotypical film. The movie was used by NGOs to campaign for leaving the tribe alone.
2. Sentinelese islanders
Sentineleses are one of the last tribes to remain isolated in the Andaman Islands, they are said to be one of the oldest tribes of the world and are direct descendents of originals who moved out of Africa some 55,000 years ago. Indian government has made many trials to establish contact but has failed to calm down the tribesmen who become aggressive at the sight of an airplane. These people live on one of the Andaman Islands and survive living off the resources of the forest. They have often been called savage and backward by many groups who want the tribe to accept the gestures of Indian government for accepting better health facilities etc. But as has been noted in history of contact with such tribes, bringing them into the fold of our world has often ended up as a genocide due to their immune system working on completely different lines. Thus, the government has withdrawn all the operations regarding contact with the tribe.
1. “Loneliest man on the planet”
He has been caught on camera, pointing arrows towards the crew and being generally discreet. This man has been alleged to be the last surviving member of his tribe though others believe that his tribe is just good at living unseen. Anthropologists have found many leaf shelters and observed his artifacts to figure out how he is able to live all alone in silence in the vast areas of Amazon forest. Linguists and other social scientists want to establish contact with him so that more can be known about his tribe since they think he’s the last and all the knowledge will die out with him. But FUNAI has decided to extend the area by 3000 acres and give him more space and game to hunt so he can live out his life in peace.