Saturday, May 31, 2008

'Uncontacted tribe' sighted in Amazon

Interesting that there are believed to be 100 such tribes sprinkled worldwide. A year or two ago, I remember reading about someone who tried to make contact with an island tribe, resulting in dire consequences for the person attempting contact. Seems that the desire to stay out of contact with the modern ‘civilized’ world is part of some tribe’s religions.

Some of the most revered indigenous peoples in the area where I now live, were the Sheepeater Indians. They wintered in high areas, modeling their way of life by following the Mountain sheep and using every bit of an occasionally harvested sheep for meat, tools and clothing. Most were captured or killed in the late 1870’s. However, The Idaho Historical Society notes that some Sheepeaters “eluded the army and a few families continued to live their mountain life unmolested in its ancient pattern for another decade.”

Some anecdotal evidence indicates that there is a good chance that some families went to live on several decades longer than what the historical society indicates. Sometimes I fancy that there still are a few of the old ancients up in the Idaho Mountains quietly following the Mountain Sheep.

1 comment:

R.M. said...

I have a sense that the non-contact tribes know more about us than we would think. Even though they're isolated, as in remote areas of the Amazon, I think they remote view, travel out of body, and even travel within other creatures. And they don't like what they see.

When Trish and I were leading adventure tours to South America in the 80s, one of our destinations was the Lost City (Ciudad Perdida) off the Colombian Caribbean coast. The ruins of that Tairona city is located at 3,000 feet, but at the time of the conquest they fled high in the mountains, establishing villages at 14,000 feet. The descendants of the Tairona, known as the Kogis, still survive and are extremely reclusive and spiritually-oriented. So even though we traveled to the Lost City, the chances of encountering Kogis were always slim to none, and visitors weren't welcome in their villages, if you could find them.

We stayed in the coastal town of Santa Marta and flew into the Lost City by helicopter, usually in three different groups. There are no roads to the city. On one of the trips, I was in the last group when a storm came up and the helicopter couldn't come back for us. So we were left in the Lost City with two or three archaeologists who were living there. That evening, several Kogis showed up. It was incredible experience. They wore hand-woven pants and tunics and one carried an old-fashioned rifle from the 19th century. They joined us for dinner and we had a chance to talk and ask questions.

The Kogis believe they are the Elder Brothers and the rest of us with our helicopters and trains and airplanes are the Younger Brothers, who are endangering the world. The men are weavers and the weaving is part of their spiritual tradition. They live at the top of the world and every morning conduct rituals aimed at keeping the planet functioning, making sure the sun comes up every day.