Last member of isolated indigenous tribe found dead in Brazil
(CNN) — The last remaining member of an isolated Brazilian indigenous tribe has died, Brazil’s indigenous protection agency Funai said on Saturday.
The man, known as the ‘Hole Man’, had lived in complete isolation for 26 years in the Tanaru indigenous land, deep in the Brazilian Amazon in Rondonia state, and had resisted all attempts to be contacted, according to the NGO Survival International.
They gave him his nickname for his habit of building deep holes to trap animals and hide, the group said.
The man had resisted all attempts to be contacted, though authorities continued to watch him from afar, occasionally leaving supplies for him.
Survival International said the rest of his tribe had been wiped out by various attacks since the 1970s, mainly by ranchers and land grabbers.
“No outsider knew this man’s name, nor did they know much about his tribe, and his death completes the genocide of his people,” said Fiona Watson, director of research and advocacy for Survival.
“Because this was indeed genocide: the deliberate elimination of an entire people by ranchers hungry for land and wealth.”
The man’s body was found lying in a hammock in a shack by Funai officials on August 23. There were no signs of fighting, violence or the presence of other people in the area.
He died of natural causes and his body will undergo a forensic examination by the Federal Police, according to Funai.
The last known video of the “Hole Man” was released by Funai in 2018, which appeared to show him chopping down a tree with an axe-like tool.
Survival International said his abandoned camps left clues to his way of life: he planted crops including maize and papaya, and built thatched houses.
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