Rare photos of endangered Amazonians released to bring attention to their plight

February 1st, 2011 - 2:19 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 1 (ANI): Rare photographs of natives of the Amazon have been released by Brazil to bring attention to the plight of the indigenous people, who rights groups say are faced with possible extinction.

The photographs, taken by Brazil’s National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), show curious adults and children peering skyward with their faces dyed reddish-orange and toting bows, arrows and spears.

Rights group Survival International, which accompanied the government agency on the over flight near the Brazil-Peru border, said their baskets were full of papaya and manioc grown in a communal garden.

“Illegal loggers will destroy this indigenous people. It is essential that the Peruvian government stop them before it is too late,” the Telegraph quoted Survival’s director Stephen Corry as warning.

FUNAI has released similar photographs in the past and acknowledged that Peruvian loggers are sending some natives fleeing across the border to less-affected rainforests in Brazil.

The coordinator of Brazil’s Amazon Indian organisation COIAB, Marcos Apurina, said he hoped the images would draw attention to the plight of the indigenous peoples and encourage their protection.

“It is necessary to reaffirm that these peoples exist, so we support the use of images that prove these facts,” he said.

“These peoples have had their most fundamental rights, particularly their right to life, ignored - it is therefore crucial that we protect them,” he stated.

FUNAI says there are 67 tribes in Brazil that do not have sustained contact with the outside world. Some are often referred to as “uncontacted” tribes even though they have some kind of, albeit limited, contacts. (ANI)

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