Tag: indigenous tribes

Photographer Discovers Lost Tribe Deep in Amazon Rainforest

It’s a story concocted out of Hollywood. A dashing Brazilian photographer whose chopper is suddenly facing down a major tropical storm deep in the Brazilian rainforest. As the craft rocks and bucks violently, the nervous pilot has no choice but to either call in a Mayday or find a way to fly the hell around the massive black and purple, lightning-streaked cloud. The pilot pulls the stick back hard and the helicopter makes an engine straining turn. The acrobatic aerial maneuver not only proves live-saving, it results in something miraculous. The uncovering of an isolated Neolithic jungle tribe. Roll opening credits.

The first time the indigenous peoples have been caught on camera
Credit: Ricardo Stuckert

With indigenous tribes rapidly disappearing from the earth, photographer Ricardo Stuckert’s luck couldn’t have been better, or more serendipitous anyway, when he made the decision to board that helicopter. The high-res photographs he managed to capture of the lost tribe from his precarious perch inside the chopper bay offered a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse back in time. They were quickly snatched up in first-rights grab by National Geographic Magazine.

When describing how he felt about his sudden discovery of the lost tribe, Stuckert told Nat Geo, “I felt like I was a painter in the last century. To think that in the 21st century, there are still people who have no contact with civilization, living like their ancestors did 20,000 years ago—it’s a powerful emotion.”

An alarmed tribesman, fearing the worst, strings up his bow. Credit: Ricardo Stuckert

Stuckert’s up-close-and-personal photos snapped along the Peru/Brazil border at tree-top height bring out details that are baffling even noted scientists and scholars. For instance, the natives in his pictures not only decorate their skin with elaborate body paint and tattoos, but also with what’s been described as “punk” haircuts.

The 48 year old Stuckert had arrived in the Amazonian state of Acre to spend a year deep inside dangerous jungle territory photographing indigenous tribes all across Brazil and lower Peru. A month into his exploration, the T-shirted adventurer who was armed with numerous cameras and lenses, boarded a chopper with the intent to visit the relatively unknown outpost of Jordão near the Peruvian border. Severe storms suddenly hit and the chopper was forced to detour or else face an emergency situation.

But that’s when Stuckert and his crew miraculously found themselves facing a lost world of huts with thatched roofs, long houses, fire pits, and dozens of alarmed naked natives scattering for cover in the thick woods. About the only thing missing was King Kong.

Lost tribespeople nervous peering up at an alien craft
Credit: Ricardo Stuckert

The lost tribe wasn’t exactly happy to see the intruders. As if encountering an alien space craft, several warrior-like tribesmen began stringing their bows, while another aimed his arrow directly for the chopper. One photo shows a body-painted man wielding a machete as he leaves his longhouse, ready to do battle with the invaders.

This warrior prepares to shoot down the chopper with his bow and arrow
Credit: Ricardo Stuckert

But as time went on, the natives seemed to get used to the helicopter as it continued to circle. No doubt Stuckert would have insisted on landing the craft if there had been a suitable break in the foliage, even if Brazilian Amazon authorities maintain strict “no contact” measures over their lost tribal populations.

Said Stuckert after returning home from the expedition, “We live in an age when men have been to the moon. Yet here in Brazil there are people who continue to live as humankind has for tens of thousands of years.”

British Explorer Claims He Did Not Want To Be Rescued

A British adventurer who recently went missing for three days and nights in the dense jungles of Papua New Guinea while searching for a legendary lost tribe, has been rescued alive. That’s good news. But here’s the thing that makes him newstyletrends material. He claims he didn’t need rescuing.

Benedict Allen
Source: The Telegraph

According to a report from The Telegraph, 58 year old Benedict Allen entered into the jungle without a smartphone or a GPS device fearing that such mod cons would hinder the authenticity of his trip. But when he failed to make his flights home which were scheduled to depart Hong Kong some three weeks after he first entered into the wild, the British father of three was officially declared missing.

When interviewed by a BBC correspondent about the misadventure, he vehemently denied getting lost. And while he was still suffering from the effects of malaria, he did show some remorse for not taking his phone with him. In the same breath however, he said, “I always knew where I was, things just began to go wrong.” Namely, his contracting a nasty case of malaria.

According to the New York Post, Allen had entered into the jungle with the intent to reach the Yaifo people, who are believed to be one of the last lost tribes left on the planet. That is, a people indigenous to Papua New Guinea who have zero contact with the outside world.

“No outsider has made the journey to visit them since the rather perilous journey I made as a young man three decades ago,” Allen wrote on his blog before departing for his expedition. “This would make them the remotest people in Papua New Guinea, and one of the last people on the entire planet who are out-of-contact with our interconnected world.”

Indigenous Papua New Guinean man
Source: Tinggly

Allen was the first westerner to make direct contact with Yaifo tribe back in the mid-1980s during a similar solo expedition into the dangerous jungle territory. Back then, he was greeted with open hostility. At one point he feared his life. But then, the explorer isn’t one to shy away from the pain and fear that can only come from encountering the great mysteries of the deep jungle. On one occasion while having crossed the Amazon Basin in a dug-out canoe and while trekking on foot, he took it upon himself to participate in a male initiation ceremony in which the mark of the crocodile was carved into his flesh. On yet another occasion, when he found himself starving in the jungle, he ate his dog.

Now that thirty years had passed since his first encounter with the lost tribe, Allen was hoping that he would be received with open arms befitting of an explorer of his caliber and just plain major league balls. While it’s unclear how the tribe did react to his return, he did document the reunion with his video camera. In fact, the solo filmmaker, author, and public speaker has made quite a name for himself over the years, regularly appearing on TV and other media outlets.

He’s also social media savvy, having tweeted just prior to his most recent jungle excursion:

“Marching off to Heathrow. I may be some time. Don’t try to rescue me, please – where I’m going in PNG you won’t ever find me you know…”

Ceremonial dance
Source: The Telegraph

Of course, it’s Tweets like this that cause some people to work up a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to the authenticity of both Allen’s adventure and his having gone missing. But he dismisses any attempts at armchair explorers bent on questioning his legitimacy.

Says he, “I can see why they get cynical and people have been known to do this, let’s face it. I videoed all of this and you can see me deteriorating with malaria.” He also adds, “People are asking this question because I joked on Twitter as I left. I had no commission, I did no interviews before I left.”

For three days, Allen’s family had no idea where he was. His wife Lenka sadly pronounced that their three children, who range between the ages of two and ten, were missing their father. But as soon as she learned that her husband had been found, Lenka said, “It is such a relief. I’m so happy. It’s amazing.” But one has to wonder if she isn’t secretly upset she didn’t marry an accountant.

When fellow explorer and adventurer Ben Fogle was asked by reporters if Allen’s perilous journey to reach the lost tribe of the Yaifo was an act of selfishness, he was quick defend his friend, because after all, explorers are born to explore. However, Allen did admit that he required the services of “a good florist” when he was finally home alone with the wife.