Mashco-Piro Tribe Of Peru Makes Rare AppearanceBy: Matt Spencer - August 20, 2013
In the modern world it is easy to assume that everyone carries a cell phone and has access to things like the internet. After all, you are using it right now to read this story and when you opened your browser it was as uneventful as pouring a glass of water. It is easy to forget that there are still people in the world that leave in a primitive state that is not that far removed from our ancestors. Enter the Mashco-Piro people of Peru.
The indigenous tribe, who live in voluntary isolation in the Eastern portion of Peru, made a rare appearance in the late June at a small river hamlet. It was only the second time since 2011 that the tribe attempted to make contact with outsiders. They asked for rope, machetes, and bananas, but their full intentions were unclear due to a language barrier that only allowed interpreters to understand portions of what they were saying.
At times the encounter become hostile, with one tribesman even threatening to shoot his bow. It is unlikely that the tribe was angry at illegal logging and other operations that are taking place on their land.
The Mashco-Piro are one of 15 “uncontacted” tribes living east of the Andes mountain range. In total those tribes are thought to number between 12,000 and 15,000 people, all of whom live exactly how their tribe did hundreds of years ago.
The tribe making contact with individuals is just as shocking to the modern world as it is to them, a kind of mutual time travel with one group going forward and the other back. It is also extremely rare since contact with the tribes is forbidden by the Peruvian government for several reasons, one of which is their weaker immune systems that have not been subjected to many modern diseases.