An isolated indigenous tribe in Brazil’s Amazon jungle made their Internet debut on Wednesday.
Video footage taken in 2011 of the remote Kawahiva tribe was released. The 90-second clip shows naked men donning bow and arrows, and one woman holding a child, walking through the jungle’s foliage. The cameraman, who was hiding from view, was spotted by the woman, who cries out and runs away, the Associated Press reports.
The Kawahiva are a nomadic tribe that has had very little contact with non-indigenous people and other indigenous tribes, Fox News Latino reports. Their isolation may stem from a host of factors that threaten their way of life, government officials say.
"Assassinations in the last decades, field exploration, slave work, deforestation, illegal logging -- so there is evidence that suggest that this group has suffered from all sorts of violence," Carlos Travassos, head coordinator for Isolated and Recently Contacted Indigenous groups at government body FUNAI said.
The footage was captured by the government agency. "When they are isolated we also have to protect them from contact because we know contact can cause damage and even extinction," agency president Maria Augusta Assirati said.
Last year a 411,848-acre reservation was created in the western Mato Grosso state to protect the indigenous tribe that continues to face threats from loggers and farmers. Until the footage was caught of the tribe, the only known evidence of their existence came from a dozen expeditions where their temporary camps were found.
Suely Cabral Ana Arruda, a linguist from the University of Brasilia who observed the footage says the Kawahiva were in the middle of a conversation about finding a resting place to sleep that night. Another mentioned preparing a hunting trap using a tree, Globo reports. The child spots the strangers in the jungle and screams “tapui,” which may mean enemy.
Jair Candor, a FUNAI employee who caught the footage, emphasized that he intended to observe the tribe without coming into contact with them.
"We were not there to meet them,” he said, adding that they were investigating potential disruptions on the protected land.