THE last known survivor of an Amazonian tribe’s face has been revealed after 22 years alone in the jungle.
In the image he can be seen peering through the shrubbery, staring right down the lens of the camera.
The man rejects all contact with strangers and flees from officials who monitor his movements.
On the few occasions agents have come close to attempting friendly contact, he has run off or hidden inside one of his huts.
Once when he was cornered in a hut in 2005, he loosed an arrow at an approaching agent, puncturing his lung.
After the near-fatal incident, officials decided he would be better off living out his days alone in the forest.
He digs traps to catch wild animals, hunts with bamboo arrows, gathers fruits and wild honey and plants small garden plots.
Last month he was filmed felling a tree half naked.
The man, thought to be in his 50s, is said to use a bow and arrow to hunt pigs, birds and monkeys for survival and traps prey in hidden holes filled with sharpened staves of wood.
The Guardian reports how the man has never been filmed so clearly before after he was first discovered in the jungle in 1996.
His face was only filmed for the first time in 1998.
The man is believed to be the only survivor of a group of six killed during an attack by farmers and land grabbers in 1995.
Neither his name nor the name of his former tribe is known.
Altair Algayer, who works for Brazilian government agency Funai, said: “He is very well, hunting, maintaining some plantations of papaya, corn.”
Funai has a policy of avoiding contact with isolated groups and has protected his area since the 1990s. The indigenous reserve of Tanaru was legally set up in 2015.
Axes, machetes and seeds traditionally planted by indigenous people have been left for the man to find but he clearly wants nothing to do with mainstream society.
Algayer added: “I understand his decision.
“It is his sign of resistance, and a little repudiation, hate, knowing the story he went through.”
They have worked to extend the area of his jungle home to 8,070 hectares in an effort to allow him to maintain his lifestyle.
He added: “He has good health and a good physical shape doing all those exercises.”
The group has watched from a distance since the man was first spotted.
Fiona Watson works for Survival International, a non-profit group that works to protect indigenous peoples.
She described the footage as “extraordinary”, adding: “The fact he is still alive gives you hope.”
ALL ALONE How many tribes are there in the Brazilian state of Rondônia
AS of 2011 there were 21 Indigenous Territories in Rondonia, with two more in process of being demarcated.
The largest of these, the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau Indigenous Territory, covers over 1.8 million hectares.
Another, the Rio Omere Indigenous Territory, is home to the Kanoe and Akuntsu people, who number only four and five individuals respectively.
It is feared that the Kanoe and Akuntsu people could die out in the not too distant future unless they choose to intermarry with other tribes.
Tribes in the region are under the constant threat of surrounding ranchers encroaching on their area or even trying to kill them.
Funai frequently check in to see if he is still alive and often find him digging holes in the earth to trap animals or hide in himself.
It is for this reason he gained the nickname “The Man of the Hole”.
The area where the man lives is surrounded by farmers ranches on all sides.
Specialists believe there are 113 uncontacted tribes living in the Brazilian Amazon.
We reported in September last year how police in Brazil investigated claims 10 members of a remote Amazonian tribe were hacked to death by ruthless gold miners out to seize their land.
A complaint was filed with prosecutors in South America after the alleged killers went into a bar and bragged about what they had done.
Who are Funai?
Funai is a Brazilian governmental protection agency for indigenous people and their interests.
Operating under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice it was created by law in 1973.
The Central Department for Isolated Indians and Recently Contacted Indians is a division within FUNAI to handle dealings with isolated indigenous tribes.
It is responsible for protecting indigenous peoples’ rights to preserve their culture, traditions, and customs.
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