Uncontacted Tribes of Brazil Ecotourism and the Observer Effect

Who are they?

These uncontacted tribes of Brazil are aware of other humans on the earth. They choose to have no contact with anyone outside of their tribe, many believe this is from other encounters with groups that have ended in hostile situation. We assume there are 100 different uncontacted tribes within the Amazon Rain-forest.

They decide to keep to themselves and only have relations within their tribe. All dealings and trades happen within the community. Most of these tribes are very into hunting and growing their own food, it is also the only way they survive. Also due to the lack of contact with others, they are not exposed to technology.

Ariel View of an uncontacted tribe

FUNAI

The FUNAI is the National Indian Foundation. The foundation was created as a way to help protect the uncontacted tribes. They are a government that is strictly for helping the tribes. They try to protect the land that s inhabited by the indigenous people and try to keep illegal miners, loggers and farmers out. The FUNAI will only contact the leader or chief of the tribe if they are under a serious threat.

Ecotourism

What Is It?

Eco tourism is the act of taking people, normally tourists and travellers, into remote areas of the world. These visitors explore the new undeveloped areas.

It's Negative Effects

  • Can disrupt the natural balance of the place and the nature
  • animals change their behaviour and routine
  • pollution and liter
  • damage the ecosystem
  • development sometimes start, causing deforestation

Maasai People

One case of ecotourism within an indigenous community is the Maasai people of Kenya. First they are moved off of their original lands and much of the land surrounding them has been destroyed or "given" to ecotourism companies. The Maasai people are now forced to pose for pictures and dance all for the amusement of tourists. Their whole way of life has changed.

Maasai posing for tourist

Observer Effect

The observer effect is when subjects, in this case indigenous people, are observed for study purposes. The subjects know that they are being watched, and this tends to lead to a difference in how they act and behave. This could lead to indigenous people losing aspects of their culture.

Should we engage in the uncontacted tribes?

I feel as if trying to study and engage with the uncontatced tribes would lead to many negative impacts. We could destroy their land, kill of animals or scare them away, this would leave the tribes without food, causing them to starve. Another issue with contacting them is the spread of diseases. They have lived in isolation for all these years and they haven't developed the same immunity to diseases such as smallpox, measles and others. Almost an entire tribe could be wiped out because of an epidemic, and it has happened before. Putting aside the physical destruction we could cause these tribes we also need to think of the emotional damage that we could cause. We could completely change their entire culture and they way they live their life if we start to study them or try to engage in them.

Think before you destroy a culture

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