The Atlantic

The Modern Dignity of an Uncontacted Tribe

The documentary Piripkura explores the resolve of indigenous people who persist in the forests of Brazil despite shifting circumstance.
Source: Zeza Filmes / Courtesy of Cinema Libre Studio

By some , there are more than 100 “uncontacted tribes” in Brazil, mostly in the western reaches of the Amazon rainforest. These are indigenous peoples who live beyond the direct control, and sometimes knowledge, of the Brazilian state. Their groups vary in size but are, in many cases, quite small. Researchers from —the Brazilian government agency that upholds indigenous rights— in July of a single man who continues to live on his 8,000 hectare territory by himself. Dubbed “the Man of the Hole” for his practice of digging deep pits, he is the sole survivor of a tiny tribe attacked by ranchers in the 1990s. Little is known about the man himself: not his name, or the name of his vanished people, or the

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