Thursday, June 05, 2008

A Plea to the “Do-gooders” of the world

I took one look at the picture above as it was displayed on my TV screen and I thought it was a hoax. Surely this was just another advertisement...perhaps for a Type B action film. Why else would there be natives painted red and black pointing their arrows toward the sky?

I was amazed to hear that I was wrong. These were members of an unknown Amazon basin tribe in Brazil, near the border of Peru. The image was taken by Brazil’s department for Indian affairs.

Evidently illegal logging is taking place in that region and they threaten any and everything in their way. Jose Carlos dos Reis Meirelles, an expert on un-contacted tribes has this to say; “What is happening in this region (of Peru) is a monumental crime against the natural world, the tribes, the fauna, and is further testimony to the complete irrationality with which we, the civilized ones, treat the world.”

Amen to that ! The Brazilian government has a policy of not contacting the few tribes which are untouched by the outside world, so it is not known to which tribe they belong but life has apparently changed little in thousands of years for these humans.

It just broke my heart when the pilot said the natives scattered into the forest as he flew over them. They must have been scared to death by this strange “bird creature” in the air. Even so, when the pilot returned a few hours later these few “warriors” ran out, prepared to protect their families. They were painted in what appeared to be "war paint" and it seems apparent that they must have faced a similar trauma in the past.

My plea to the “do gooders” is this…….PLEASE LEAVE THESE PEOPLE ALONE. I have visions of missionary groups, grabbing their bibles with glee and heading down to bring Christianity to these poor heathens. Or, the idle rich who, out of the goodness of their pocketbooks, send the trappings of our “civilized” life to them...thinking that they will accept them with open arms.

If these are indeed unknown, indigenous tribes I think we should allow them the dignity to remain exactly as they are. I have a feeling that they are happier and more content than an awful lot of the world’s people who have been conformed to “our” way of thinking.


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I hope they can retain enough of their turf to be happy.

7:09 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

I absolutely agree, Ginnie. I've read before about some tribes that were assimilated into the surrounding society and vanished! We can't afford to lose more cultures in the world!

7:26 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

I also agree--they are much better off to be left to live their lives the way that they like. They don't need to be "civilized"

8:28 AM  
Blogger robin ann mcintosh said...

good post, Ginnie, not enough of the world knows what's going on in South America. I lived there for awhile, and it's a different reality!

4:25 PM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Ginnie--I saw this news item while we were on our vacation trip. The thought I had was--what were the fly-overs for? Since there is illegal logging in the Amazon rainforest, do these untouched tribes stand in the way of illegal activity, and are thereby threatened?

8:32 PM  
Blogger ellen said...

Oh, Ginnie..I absolutely agree! There are a few places and people left on this weary earth of ours that should absolutely be left alone. Period!

6:25 AM  
Blogger GreenishLady said...

I saw this photo recently somewhere too (New Scientist? National Geographic?), and had thoughts along the same lines as you. How long will they be left in peace? A long time, I hope.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Natasha said...

I never thought of the missionaries going there...I guess they should get a chance to hear it right? Although I cant imagine the tribe wont attempt to kill the missionaries...

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo for you, Ginnie! And I say "ditto" to everything you said.
All we have to do is consider the Indian's and what this country did to them. Why does everyone have to feel they HAVE to "fix it" when all they do is ruin something good.
This was interesting and thanks for posting about it.

2:38 PM  

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