Friday, June 06, 2008

Freaky Friday

Last Friday, I experienced one of those "pinch me" moments. Photographs taken by Brazil's National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) were made public and were quickly published on most news wire web sites.

The photos in question were aerial shots of a village inhabited by an "uncontacted" tribe deep in the Amazon somewhere along Brazil's border with Peru.

These dudes are firing arrows at the plane!

Holy crap! These photos are so surreal. It's like looking at pictures taken during a trip in a time machine.

Details in the various articles I've read are a bit ambiguous. I guess it's to be expected given that it is probably difficult to know much about these people and their culture without visiting them, and measures are obviously being taken to prevent people from finding this and other remote villages in the area.

My mind reels with observations and questions as I examine these images. How long since this tribe diverged from a larger population? How isolated are they, do they interact with neighboring tribes? Check out their technology: pitched roof dwellings, woven baskets, longer bows than were used by indigenous populations in ancient South America, domesticated animals(?) and agriculture(?). What about that body paint? Were these guys dressed up for holiday, ritual, warfare, or is that an every day thing? How exactly have they remained so isolated? How far do they travel beyond their village? How has this little fly-by in a small plane impacted these people's understanding of history and their belief system? Would their immune systems protect them from our germs?

I'm still finding that these photos are almost too real to believe. These pictures have proven a very fascinating and weird way to be exposed to something that has always been an abstract, almost mythological concept to me. Freaky.


mamahawk said...

I remember telling Dillon about a shark pic I saw on the internet.I told him the whole story and his sage reply was, "Do you believe everything you see on the internet?" (or was that you Cerra?). So, is this one of those situations? Hmmm...

Razzleberry said...

That's not really body paint. They are really that color If you look really close you can see the purple one and the turquoise one.


paul said...

Are they in a plane or a helicopter?

Anyway, it is pretty cool...Do you remember The Gods Must be Crazy (1 &2)? I think we should give these people a Coke bottle!

I bet these guys are Lamanites!

Cerra Hawkins said...

Ha! MamaHawk, you are funny. This is a bit different than an email forward of scuba divers being super-imposed over a great white shark. I have to say that I have wondered if this was going to be outed as a hoax though. A little too weird.

Paul, the guy was in a small plane. Funny you mention The Gods Must Be Crazy because that is the first thing I thought of too. I love those movies.