A rare, isolated, never-before-seen tribe photographed from a plane high above the Amazon! Dressed in red warpaint and shooting arrows at the camera! What a story! Well... you know us, we love to call bullshit on things. Just last weekend we were ready to call bullshit on the guy who made the "self-portrait" with DHL and a GPS device-equipped suitcase (honestly, people!) but then the dude called himself on it before we got the chance. (Stupid holiday weekend!) Anyway. Is this tribe shit for real?
We have no definitive answers but we point you to two things. Number one: the Tasaday. A remote, isolated tribe in the Philippines living as if it was still the stone age. They knew nothing of the outside world! They became a media sensation in the early 1970s. But!
Then, just a month after the fall of President Marcos in 1986, sensational reports on the Tasaday again appeared in newspapers and television. These reports, however, were calling the 1971 story a hoax. In the chaotic month following Marcos's downfall, foreign journalists had been able to slip into the area. They found the Tasaday living in regular houses in the area, wearing western clothes, and tending gardens just like those of other rural Manobo people in the southern Philippines.
Oh, and also: Nick Douglas reminded us of the beloved Richard Dreyfus classic Kippendorf's Tribe which is more or less about the same thing.
Anyways. We don't know! There seems to be very little verifiable information in this story beyond two photos, which could be lost extras from Apocalypto for all we know! Plus some nonsense from the Brazilian government about how they have to follow the Prime Directive and not interfere with these tribespeople's lives. Which, on the whole, seems ok with us, because those chaps from Blur were pretty much spot-on about Modern Life, eh?
In addition, the images are being used to prevent massive disruptive logging in the Amazon by saying, look, there are ppl who live here! So whatevs! If it's a hoax it looks to be in the service of a good cause.