Wednesday, February 1, 2012


members of the mascho-piro tribe photographed through a telescope by spanish explorer diego cortijo

uncontacted mascho-piro indian woman spotted from the air, s.e. peru, 2007

uncontacted mascho-piro indians spotted from the air, s.e.peru, 2007

new images of an uncontacted peruvian tribe, the mascho-piro indians, reveal a small band of people, clad in beads & bands of fabric. for a millenia, they have carved an existence from the peruvian rainforest, untouched by civilization. the photographs were released by advocacy group survival international & are the closest glimpse of the indians ever caught on camera, according to the organization. 
the tribe descends from a group that was attacked & displaced in 1894, when rubber baron carlos fermin fitzcarrald encroached on their ancestral lands. now their days of isolation are numbered. illegal loggers are encroaching nearer to their ancestral homeland.
the family in the main photo were chanced upon by diego cortijo, an indigenous peruvian exploring the alto madre de dios river four days on foot from the remote jungle town of puerto maldonado. holding his camera lens against a telescope, he captured one of the most detailed pictures of an uncontacted tribe ever taken. 
"first contact" with the outside world can prove fatal for a tribe & usually results in the death of between 50 and 80 % of its members, who have no immunity to diseases common elsewhere. it can also be tragic for those who discover them. weeks ago, a close friend of mr. cortijo - nicolás "shaco" flores - was killed by an arrow on the outskirts of the park while trying to leave gifts of food & clothes.
it's so mind boggling that these indigenous tribes still exist un-touched by technology & the outside world. hopefully they will continue to thrive without our interference. 

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