In DepthAnthropology

Mashco Piro tribe emerges from isolation in Peru

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Science  14 Aug 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6249, pp. 679
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6249.679

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About 30 members of the isolated Mashco Piro tribe, who live in a remote forested area in the Peruvian Amazon, have been contacting outsiders more and more frequently on the edge of their land in Manú National Park. Anthropologists report more than 100 sightings since 2014, including repeated calls to boats passing on a river, and the group has raided a nearby village and killed two villagers. Tour operators sell tickets for "human safaris" along the river. The Peruvian government announced last month that it would attempt to help and potentially contact the tribe, but some fear the government plan for contact could further jeopardize the group. The case highlights an ongoing international debate about how to best help emerging tribes, who lack immunity to common diseases and are among the most vulnerable people on the planet (see Science, 5 June, p. 679).