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Sat Jun 20, 2015, 09:09 PM

We need to make contact with isolated Amazon tribes, say academics

We need to make contact with isolated Amazon tribes, say academics
Steve Connor
Science Editor
Saturday 20 June 2015

Making contact with indigenous tribes who have remained isolated from the modern world should be encouraged rather than forbidden, according to two anthropologists who have challenged official policy towards “uncontacted” people.

In a proposal that has split the anthropological community, American academics Kim Hill and Robert Walker have suggested that the time has come to change the official line on uncontacted tribes by striving to make the first, controlled, contact with people who may be unaware of the rest of humanity.

It is thought that there could be more than 100 isolated indigenous societies in the world – mostly living in the Amazon rainforest of South America – who have never been in contact with the modern world.

After centuries of disastrous interaction between indigenous groups and European colonists, mainly in the Amazon basin where millions of native people have been killed through disease, starvation and slavery since explorers first penetrated, the official policy today is to “leave them alone”.


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