Friday, June 20, 2008

"Uncontacted" Amazon Tribe: Will they remain uncontacted, or will the world (and media) worm its way into these people's lives?

I have been reading a little bit about these uncontacted tribes in the Amazon, and yesterday another article about them on National Geographic's website caught my eye. I have been wondering: will these tribes be left alone, or will people from the outside penetrate the tribes, and irrevocably change the way of life for these people? As a sociologist (observer) and a lover of anthropology, I am more inclined to observe and study than to intervene and change.
In the June 3rd article, it states that the group Survival International "takes the position that uncontacted tribes should be allowed to live in their own way on their own land, as recognized by international law. " One of National Geographic's explorers/authors, Wade Davis, later states that contact with the tribes should only be made if necessary, i.e. they are in danger, and not solely out of curiosity.
What do you think will happen? Have the wheels already been set in motion for this tribe's way of living to change because this story has been much publicized? Or was the tribe's culture and lifestyle already doomed to change due to the possibility of deforestation and infringement by oil companies in the Amazon? Will the publicity actually serve to protect them from habitat destruction?

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