Lost in time

THE recently discovered tribe in Brazil that has somehow remained detached from the outside world carries intricate implications beyond merely interesting reading. Buried deep within the thick Amazon jungle, it seems these straw hut-dwellers have not progressed in centuries, and remained caught in a time frame of long, long ago.



For one thing, even though hidden deep in the dense jungle, how these people avoided stumbling onto the globalising world for hundreds of years is very difficult to understand. Secondly, authorities are no doubt wondering what to do with them now that everybody would like to know more — what they are like, how they live, and especially how far back in time are they still stuck while the rest of us have moved beyond agriculture, industrial, IT and information revolutions.

Integrating them with the outside world presents the most difficult part of the process. That they reacted to photographing planes with bow-and-arrow implies they will not adjust to roads, highways, sky scrapers and fast moving cars too quickly, not to mention overcoming the language barrier. Yet they are a precious resource, and there might well be more like them, which is why it is best to let scholars take the lead in deciphering what they have to offer.

It would be difficult to believe that they can be simply left untouched where they are as they form content for news flashes and Internet blogs. Already they have taught the outside world something that was widely thought ridiculous, that mother Earth still had pockets unaffected by mankind’s unforgiving drive to unending progress. Who knows, maybe they have a lot more to offer. It may even be true that they know well of the world away from their jungle, but would have none of it. That, if true, would have lessons of its own.


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