Thursday, October 6, 2022
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Last member of his tribe dies in Brazil

The last remaining member of an uncontacted indigenous group in Brazil has died, authorities say.

The man, whose name is unknown, had lived in total isolation for the past 26 years.

He was known as the Hole Man because he dug deep holes, some of which he used to trap animals, while others appeared to be hiding places.

His body was found on August 23 in a hammock outside his straw hut. There were no signs of violence.

The man was the last of an indigenous group whose other six remaining members were killed in 1995. The group lived in the Tanaru indigenous area in the state of Rondônia, on the border with Bolivia.

Most of his tribe were thought to have been killed as early as the 1970s by ranchers who wanted to expand their land.

The Man in the Hole is believed to have been in his 60s and died of natural causes.

There were no signs of incursions into his territory and nothing in his cabin had been disturbed, authorities said, but police will still carry out a post-mortem investigation.

Read more: Last Survivor: The Story of the ‘Loneliest Man in the World’

Under Brazil’s constitution, indigenous peoples have a right to their traditional land, so those who want to seize it have been known to kill them.

The Man in the Hole had been monitored for his own safety by agents of the Brazilian Agency for Indigenous Affairs (Funai) since 1996.

In 2018, members of Funai managed to film the man during a casual encounter in the jungle. In the images, he can be seen chopping down a tree with something resembling an axe.

He had not been seen since, but Funai agents came across his straw-built huts and the deep holes he dug, some of which had sharp points at the bottom.

Evidence found in his huts and camps suggests that he planted maize and cassava and fruits such as papaya and bananas.

There are some 240 indigenous tribes in Brazil, many of whom are threatened by encroachment on their territory by illegal miners, loggers and farmers, warns Survival International, a pressure group fighting for the rights of indigenous peoples.

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