The Last Natives

Recent figures from agencies and reports around the world suggest there are approximately 100 or so “un-contacted” native tribes remaining. This is very interesting, because only a decade ago we thought every remaining native person had been discovered. The National Indian Foundation is a Brazilian agency that searches and tracks un-discovered people, in hopes of saving them from encroachment. The agency recently found a new tribe in the midst of the rainforest, and photos can be seen here.

Lets consider a few things here. Most governments that believe they contain undiscovered people have some sort of protectionism in place. That means that no unauthorized person, business or whatever can simply drive out and interact with the tribe. This is justified as a means of protecting the tribe from disease, murder or other negative consequences. This sounds reasonable considering the history between modernized-westerners and contact with native Americans…

But it this really the best procedure? Who’s to say the government of Brazil will handle the situation best? Assuming the tribe will eventually contact modern folks, isn’t sooner better? It’s hard to say.

After decades or research we have come to find some interesting things about undiscovered people and their societies. Our species, homo-sapien, is biologically evolved to a hunter-gatherer stage. That means we are adapted for a hunter-gatherer society, rather than the complicated world we currently enjoy. These indigenous people are likely a latter-stage hunter gatherer society. So what are some benefits to living in such a society?

-Resource distribution is essentially equal for all members (compare to modern societies were this is the complete opposite)

-Virtually no disease or medical complications to teenagers and older

-Virtually the same life-expectancy as modern people (actually better than in the US)

-No taxes

I like pointing out these facts because everyone assumes that these societies are terrible to live in, and only consider characteristics that are actually false. In my opinion, these people have it pretty good. There is another BIG reason that primitive societies are good/better than modern ones, but that is for another post.


Published in: on May 30, 2008 at 7:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

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