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11/05/06

From Stone Age to 21st century - More "fun" with savages

Read this (we've had many stories like this before, but this one here is extremly "funny" - or let's rather say ethnocentric. The people are escaping from the Colombian drugs war, but this article reads more like an explorers account 200 years ago):

SAN JOSE DEL GUAVIARE, Colombia — Since time immemorial, the Nukak-Maku have lived a Stone Age life, roaming across hundreds of miles of isolated and pristine Amazon jungle, killing monkeys with blowguns and scouring the forest floor for berries.

But recently, and rather mysteriously, a group of nearly 80 wandered out of the wilderness, half-naked, a gaggle of children and pet monkeys in tow, and declared themselves ready to join the modern world.

(...)

The Nukak have no concept of money, of property, of the role of government, or even of the existence of a country called Colombia. They ask whether the planes that fly overhead are moving on some sort of invisible road.

(...)

Perhaps as many as 250 now live in settlements around the town, about as many as anthropologists suspect are still alive in the wilderness.

The journalists start approaching them, asking "What do you like most?"

"Pots, pants, shoes, caps," said Mau-ro, a young man who went to a shelter to speak to two visitors.

Ma-be added, "Rice, sugar, oil, flour."

Others said they loved skillets. Also high on the list were eggs and onions, matches and soap and certain other of life's necessities.

"I like the women very much," Pia-pe said, to raucous laughs.

>> read the whole story in the Times Argues

In an earlier article in The Scotsman with the headline Jungle tribesmen flee Marxist killers, we get this additional info:

The locals, embarrassed by the natives' nakedness, have given them clothes and a television set that they look at with a mixture of fear and bewilderment.

An article in Cultural Survival Quarterly (December 1988) by By Leslie Wirspa and Hector Mondragon shows that there has been contact between the Nukak and "the outer world" also before 1988.

More info on the Mukak and the Colombian drug war by
Survival International:

(...) their lands have been occupied by coca growers, left-wing paramilitaries and the Colombian army, with the Indians caught in the middle.

On Survial International's website, there are even videoclips about the hunt, building and moving the house.

SEE ALSO:

Ancient People: We are All Modern Now

Primitive Racism: Reuters about "the world's most primitive tribes"

Our obsession with the notion of the primitive society

Ten Little Niggers: Tsunami, tribal circus and racism

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