Posted On: Friday - October 9th 2020 8:18PM MST
In Topics:   Treehuggers  Geography  Race/Genetics  Science
I was going to be pretty snarky about this story, seeing as a sort of hard lessons-learned post about excessive virtue signalling, but I've got mixed feelings. I have some respect for a guy like the Brazilian government official in the story Brazil Amazon tribes expert killed by arrow to the chest while approaching an uncontacted group (though MSM/LYin' Press, the site at least doesn't throw up all kinds of pop-up crap at me).
Just like the indigenous people, who were pushed off the continent of North America, those down south still left have no concept of property rights. Encroachments on what they figure is their territory by mining and lumber companies can be expected. I don't think there's any good solution when one tribe, who may very well have killed the men and captured the women of another tribe to get to live there, run up against people with a concept of the purchase and holding of property. Peak Stupidity discussed a little about this and our fair-handed opinion of the life of savages vs. civilized people in our 3-part review of the very good Sam Gwynn book Empire of the Summer Moon - Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Some of the people trying to save the way of life of these savages truly care about them, as I'd say is the case with Mr. Rieli Franciscato, who worked for the Brazilian government and was a "top expert". (Make of the quotes what you will.) I have lots of respect for a dedicated individual devoting his life to a cause like this. Of course, it WAS on the taxpayers of Brazil, but then I doubt he made a lot of money either. Mr. Franciscato was trying to set up reservations for these people, though I assume more like plots owned by the Brazilian government to let them live their lives as savages deep in the jungle rather than the American way of the 1800s, which for horse-riding tribes of the plains, by definition changed their ways of life.
There's also something really cool about these uncontacted tribes. I don't think there are many left in the world. You don't have to be an anthropologist to be in awe of the idea that these people have never seen anything outside of their primitive existence. They are IN the Stone Age, not just living LIKE they were because they want to, or too many years of Communism. Imagine that. (That's why you just want to buzz them in a Cessna Skyhawk and throw empty Coke bottles out the window, hell, full ones for that matter, in a Gods Must be Crazy fashion, just to fuck with 'em.)
I've even thought it would be a great project to somehow get cameras on them that were well hidden, but how to place them without any "contact" at all? If the tribe doesn't even understand the idea of a camera, and they never find out, is this a blow to their dignity? In general, I think it is very much so. They are not animals, so I suppose it is, no matter what. Would it not be cool though, for the world to be able to check up on them on the internet at all hours of the night, like a REAL reality show, Naked and Unafraid?
Well, the do-gooder Mr. Franciscato was trying to help just such an uncontactable tribe when:
On Wednesday (local time), as he moved close to a previously uncontacted Indigenous group, he was hit by an arrow above the heart.First contact didn't go so well. Mr. Franciscato didn't see this coming, was too complacent from all his previous contacts, I guess.
The attack happened in the forest near the Uru Eu Wau Wau reservation in the western Brazilian state of Rondonia, near the border with Bolivia.
"He cried out, pulled the arrow from his chest, ran 50 metres and collapsed, lifeless," a policeman who accompanied the expedition said in a social media post.
The Kanindé Ethno-Environmental Defense Association Mr Franciscato helped found in the 1980s said the Indigenous group had no ability to distinguish between a friend or a foe from the outside world.Of course not. How would these people know? They are obviously not living in peaceful noble savage bliss though, or they would neither have killed the first outsider they saw, nor have had bows and arrows to begin with.
"Rieli was a calm, methodical, soft-spoken man who knew the dangers very well, but he was alone and so he went to ask the police to accompany him," Mr Possuelo said.Sure, more people probably did make it worse, and maybe were Mr. Franciscato by himself they may have just kept his bright orange life vest and Zodiac boat as treasures and brought him into their camp, gestured excitedly to him for a while, and then eaten him.
Mr Possuelo said the presence of police might have triggered the incident.
I could see plenty of the indigenous people being ready for war against the Brazilians, after they'd seen big Cat machines knocking down trees and guys using guns. However, this was an uncontacted tribe, supposedly. Whaddya' expect? I don't think they appreciate another outsider's help, so you've got to do it from afar.
I do respect Mr. Franciscato's dedicating his life to this cause, no matter how ironic his death was. R.I.P. Rieli Franciscato - you tried your best.