A remarkable story published in The Independent tells of an indigenous man who is believed to be the last survivor of an uncontacted Amazonian tribe that was reportedly decimated by commercial interests more than two decades ago.

Spotted chopping down a tree in the Brazilian rainforest, the lone tribesman, who has lived a solitary existence for at least 22 years, is reported to be “in good health and capable of hunting and farming food.”

Nicknamed “the man in the hole” due to the deep pits he dug, perhaps in order to take shelter or ambush prey, he was last noted in 1996 by government workers following an attack on his community by illegal logging and farming interests. But he made clear he wanted nothing to do with the outsiders, who put in place an exclusion zone to protect him in the future.

A spokesperson for Funai, the country’s National Indian Foundation, said: “In the 1980s, disorderly colonisation, the establishment of farms and illegal logging led to repeated attacks on the isolated indigenous peoples who had lived there until then, in a constant process of expulsion from their lands and death.”

They added: “This man, unknown to us, even losing everything, like his people and a series of cultural practices, has proved that, even then, alone in the middle of the bush, it is possible to survive and resist allying with society.”

The man in the hole now lives in the Tanaru indigenous reserve. Discrete monitoring is in place to ensure his continued wellbeing and protection from unwanted outsiders.

Featured image by Shao (cc-sa-3.0)

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