World

Uncontacted tribesman filmed in remarkable Amazon encounter

Uncontacted tribesman filmed in remarkable Amazon encounter
Incredible footage of what appears to be an uncontacted tribesman deep in the Amazon rainforest is being used to underline the impact of deforestation in one of the world's most remote locations.
The remarkable film zooms in on a tribesman, bare-chested and wearing beads around his neck, who picks up a machete and begins to sniff the unfamiliar tool.
Glancing around, uncertain and now instinctively suspicious, the man fixes his dark eyes on the person holding the camera, recording the encounter.
The surreal footage shows what appears to be an uncontacted Awá tribesman, who live in a protected reservation in eastern Brazil. (Supplied)
He momentarily stares into the camera lens, before bending down and slinking away into the forest. The tribesman is believed to belong to the Awá people, described as the world's most threatened tribe by the NGO Survival International.
The footage, which was recorded by a neighbouring indigenous tribe, the Guajajara, who are also under threat from loggers, was shown on Brazilian TV on Sunday night.
"We hope this film produces something positive. We hope it makes an impact around the world to help protect our people and our forest," Flay Guajajara said.
Guajajara's footage was released by Mídia Índia, and used in TV Globo's Fantástico investigative documentary.
"We didn't have the Awá's permission to film, but we know that it's important to use these images because if we don't show them around the world, the Awa will be killed by loggers," a Midia India spokesperson Erisvan Guajajara said.
"We need to show that the Awá exist and their lives are at risk.
"We're using these images as a cry for help and we're calling for the government to protect the lives of our relatives who don't want contact with outsiders."
Large fields of soy near the city of Santarem in the Brazilian state of Para. Environmentalists say soybean farming has driven up the price of deforested land, encouraging cattle ranchers to sell their pastures and head deeper into the jungle, clearing forest and selling the wood to loggers. But Brazilian businessmen backing the soy expansion blame criticism on outside meddling. (AAP)
Environmental groups have expressed concern that logging and deforestation rates are on the increase, since Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was elected in January.
INPE, a Brazilian agency that monitors the Amazon, says preliminary satellite data indicates more than 1000 square kilometres of forest was lost during the first half of July, an increase of 68 per cent from the loss in the same period last year.
Survival International claims loggers have destroyed as much as 30 per cent of virgin land where the Awá live, placing their lives in danger.
"This video is further proof that the uncontacted Awa people really exist," Survival International director Stephen Corry said in a statement.
"And a glance at a satellite photo shows just how much danger they're in.
"Loggers have already killed many of their relatives and forced others out of the forest."
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019