Skip to content →

39 Comments

  1. Rachel

    Rachel

    You know I was bloody wondering when I read that article how exactly they’re supposed to be Uncontacted and Remote and Separate if we’re FLYING AIRPLANES OVER THEM. Seemed a bit off.

  2. I’m sure in some circles the thinking is “why should they remain so blissfully ignorant? let them suffer with the rest of us…”

  3. Josh Hechinger

    Josh Hechinger

    C’mon Chris, don’t you know that “untouched” is just another way of saying “clearly need pants and Jesus”?

  4. Glossolalia Black

    Glossolalia Black

    I wonder what they make of satellites, or transcontinental flights. I’m sure they’ve seen those at night. I wonder if these strange lights in the sky have made it into their stories or lexicon?

  5. Ian

    Ian

    They probably just think they are more stars.

  6. Why do I have the feeling that in about six months the big log in the upper left will be part of an expensive coffee table?

    Anyone taking bets on how long before someone has combined Google Earth and Mechanical Turk to locate the homes of the last 100 uncontacted tries?

  7. acacia

    acacia

    Meh. They’re just people.

  8. I’d be surprised if that was the first airplane they’d ever seen do a low pass. It was probably just the first one with a photographer aboard.

    No one, anywhere on Earth today, is truly remote. It’s just a question of degree.

    Looked at from another way, I don’t know if I’m comfortable with the idea of keeping several tens of dozens of tribes in something like a Wild Animal Safari zoo park. Does it satisfy us to think there are still more or less untouched-by-Western-hands cultures out there, or do we find it quaint that there are still little patches of the wild that we’re content to leave (ostensibly) untouched?

    Are we preserving a culture, or are we being paternalistic shits a la Britain and India circa the 19th Century?

  9. Could be a bunch of spoiled rich kids who branched off into an extremist sect of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

  10. Stig

    Stig

    Warren – Isn’t this the stone age tribe that lives on an isolated island and kills whoever tries to make contact with them? Not to parse words, but we aren’t keeping those fuckers at all, hence the dead fishermen and camera crews.

    I think it’s the regions that enable these tribes to exist. At last check the only modern day stone age men I know of all live on African islands, isolated and desolate African deserts, and a smattering of islands in the south pacific. All places where the government is either too weak or too remote to challenge what have got to be deeply ingrained, ritual-laden cultures.

    Also, consider that these deeply ingrained, ritual-laden, terribly xenophobic, war-like cave men generally aren’t interested in our pale-faced magics… how exactly do we introduce them to the monoculture? A lot of these tribes (like the one pictured) have and will murder anyone who threatens their territory just on principle. Short of doing something reprehensible, like murdering all the adults and giving the children to missionaries, there’s no way to even pantomime to these people.

    Paternalistic shittiness can’t really apply to them, is my point. That kind of mentality only works on places we’ve already bludgeoned a bit, like those Kenyan tribes that allow you to laugh and snort at a sacred consecration ritual for $60. That’s us being paternalistic shits.

  11. Stig

    Stig

    Stupid me, I forgot rainforest tribes and all those really awesome, hostile cave men in the bay of bengal.

  12. I think there was one photo where you could clearly make out that one of the red guys was wearing Nike trainers…

  13. Warren Ellis

    Warren Ellis

    “Warren – Isn’t this the stone age tribe that lives on an isolated island and kills whoever tries to make contact with them?”

    No. Hence, “uncontacted.” Nobody here reads the news?

  14. David

    David

    What, youre surprised by that now?
    And by that your audience just likes you angry and swearing, and just get a tenth of what you say too probably. Again..
    What is it? A Cycle of some kind ;)

    If so, Id like Cult Leader Warren back soon, I liked him.

  15. Fred B

    Fred B

    I thought we developed things like, I dunno, satellites and Google Earth to be more subtle about this stuff. But no, why use a scalpel when you’ve got a nice shiny machete handy?

  16. […] slik sett én mulig versjon av overgrep mot denne stammen (slik jeg også leser Warren Ellis’ bloggpost om det). Hvordan er det overhodet mulig å diskutere hvordan stammen skal kunne beskyttes når […]

  17. Jimy Valon

    Jimy Valon

    That’s exactly what I was thinking because they’re clearly freaked out by the bloody plain.

  18. They may be uncontacted but I bet they could guess who is on the cover of Oprah Magazine this month.

    The thing I find most frustrating about the “story” – and I read it on CNN.com, is how little was reported. It was basically a flyover with pictures. What the paparazzi do to the Paris Hiltons and Lindsay Lohans of the world can now be done to the uncontacted people in the Amazon. Whiz by – take a picture – and then show the world a novelty. There’s no substance. No story. No discussion. (At least not in the initial article).

  19. Steven Kaye

    Steven Kaye

    “Are we preserving a culture, or are we being paternalistic shits a la Britain and India circa the 19th Century?”

    Considering that it’s routine for tribes to get slaughtered next door in Peru anytime someone wants to get their clear-cutting on, I don’t think Brazil (which is not “we”) is being paternalistic.

  20. Reminds me of Casanova…

  21. Christian Otholm

    Christian Otholm

    WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROOOOOOOW.

    I guess it’s pretty sick, that I kind of want experiement on their culture, huh? Like only introducing certain things from our mass-culture, but not all.

  22. Mithras

    Mithras

    If so, Id like Cult Leader Warren back soon, I liked him.

    Is that the one with kung-fu grip?

  23. Captain Black

    Captain Black

    I have money riding on this being a hoax perpetrated by Tango as part of their new advertising campaign. I’m sure you’ve all seen this but it is a masterpiece. Those that haven’t, please wait for the punchline.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2aRDacKANs

  24. RMC

    RMC

    Gotta say, my favourite thing about this image is; (from left to right) MAN RED, MAN BLUE, MAN YELLOW, MAN BROWN-ISH, MAN RED-AGAIN were building a low-slung thatched silo together one day when…

  25. Stig

    Stig

    Warren – We’re going to have to argue the meaning of uncontacted, then. The Sentinelese are considered uncontacted and India’s tried just about everything to ass its way onto their island.

  26. Arsen Fox

    Arsen Fox

    “I told you not to touch the f#€*# monolith!”

  27. Final

    Final

    This is what we must look like to the aliens. Now I know why they keep buzzing by our little F-14s and do their little light shows over our metropolises.
    They’re just selling pictures and stories to the more enlightened half of galaxy.

  28. Chupacabra

    Chupacabra

    Jesus loves the little children… all the children of the world. YELLOW, RED AND BLACK AND WHITE…

    Man… let’s get some ass-kicking missionaries with lice and gonorrhea in there asap!

  29. Wow, Stig, you sure are angry about a lot of people you haven’t met — and they weren’t even the right people in the first place.

    I understand why we’d want to think twice (or more!) about introducing any remote civilization to a monocultured world. For one thing, they might simply decide not to participate, which might make the whole thing a waste of everyone’s time.

    On the other hand, your apparent willingness to tar (with an extremely broad brush, one off by at least an ocean) anyone not in that monoculture as murderous savages suggests that maybe the Brazilian government has the right idea in keeping us the hell away from them.

  30. The book “1491” makes the case that some of these lost tribes of the Amazon may in fact be formerly quite civilized refugees from the conquistador era, who fled from the cities that Pizarro and his ilk found and destroyed, into the rain forest to escape disease, slaughter, and learning Spanish. They may indeed have had prior contact some 25 generations ago.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1491:_New_Revelations_of_the_Americas_Before_Columbus

  31. Templesmith

    Templesmith

    I hate to say it, but to me that looks like a giant erect penis shaft.

    Yes, off I go now to question my own sexuality.

  32. Tryph or gekko

    Tryph or gekko

    Templesmith
    It would be cowardly from me to pretend I did’nt have that very same vision, (yet Iinstantly tried to think of something else)Probably the F word in the title had something subliminal to that.

  33. Scott

    Scott

    I bet they are marrying off their children before the legal age.

    I bet they are harming their children in other ways too, like teaching them to kill and torture animals — and enemies– and indoctrinating them with strange religious ideas.

    We should invade them and take all of their children away.

  34. Felipe

    Felipe

    I did not follow how this news as presented in the english-speaking bit of the world… But by your overall reactions I think there was a little tid bit of misinformation and exoticism.

    So, to clarify:

    “Uncontacted” does not mean this people have never saw a plane, does not know what an helicopter is or lose their nights fearfully musing about the mysterious nature of the pale-faced weredevils from above. “Uncontacted” just means they don´t have contact with us (and I am brazilian, so it is “us” to me). This people do know about white men and their technology and civilization… they just couldn´t care less. In fact, brazilian was able to locate them to take this pictures thanks to other tribes (of the “contacted” persuasion) who eventually trade with them… including itens from our post-industrial world, like matches.

    Therefore this is not a picture of poor stone-aged people cowering at the sight of the Sky Metal God. It´s a picture of natives saying “It´s a fucking helicopter from the white invaders. Let´s show them they´re not welcome. With lethal prejudice.”

    And that´s, by the way, why they remain uncontacted.

Comments are closed.