An uncontacted Amazon tribe watches a plane in a 2010 photograph.

Gleison Miranda/FUNAI/Survival

An uncontacted Amazon tribe watches a plane in a 2010 photograph.

Uncontacted tribe in Brazil ends its isolation

Last week, Brazilian officials announced that an isolated Amazonian tribe took a momentous and potentially tragic step. Emerging from dense rainforest along the Upper Envira River in the state of Acre, Brazil, the group willingly approached a team of Brazilian government scientists on 29 June and made peaceful contact with the outside world. Officials suspect that the tribe fled illegal logging and drug trafficking in their traditional homelands in Peru. The meeting was Brazil's first official contact with an isolated Amazonian tribe in 20 years. Anthropologists remain deeply concerned about the tribe's future as it encounters novel diseases and resource-hungry outsiders. Many previous contacts have ended in tragedy, as diseases such as influenza and whooping cough ravaged tribes.

For more, see the full story in this week's issue of Science.

*Correction, 9 July, 1:51 p.m.: The photo caption contained an incorrect date; the photograph was taken in 2010.

Posted in Latin America, Social Sciences Uncontacted tribe