Mysterious uncontacted tribes still exist in some of the most isolated regions of the world. From head hunting cannibals to a nomadic African tribe that is now armed with fully-automatic machine guns. The members of these tribes, who have maintained traditions long left behind by the rest of the world, provide a wealth of information for anthropologists seeking to understand the way cultures have developed over the centuries.
Below is the list of 10 lost tribes who are virtually untouched by modern civilization.
Not discovered until 1974, the Korowai Tribe of Papua, New Guinea, is viewed as one of the fierce tribes on earth. Living remotely, perched 140 feet up into the canopy of the least explored jungles in the world scientists believe the tribe may not have ever realized anyone else even existed other than themselves. The Korowai tribe is one of the last known tribes in the world to have been cannibals. The Korowai adhere to age old tradition, sharing myths, folktales, sayings and charms to this day, and believe that their dead ancestors can return to land of the living at any time.
The Suma People
The Suma People are one of the tribal groups that avoided the global civilization by residing in South Sudan and southwestern Ethiopia. The Suma lived in groups of a few hundred and carried on with their humble cattle ranching for centuries while colonization, World Wars, and struggles for independence were going on all around them. The culture of Surma tribes majorly involves piercing a wooden plate right below the lip as a symbol of beauty. The piercing is carried out on a girl’s ears when she is in her puberty.
Ayoreo Totobiegosode Tribe
The Ayoreo tribes majorly reside in Bolivia and Paraguay with a mere population of about 5000 people. In 1979 and 1986 the American fundamentalist New Tribes Mission helped organise ‘manhunts’ in which large groups of Totobiegosode were forcibly brought out of the forest. Several Ayoreo died in these encounters, and others later succumbed to disease. The United Nations ordered the Paraguay government to protect the Totobiesgosode tribe which was threatened by deforestation in 2011.
Source : BBC
The Moken are a semi-nomadic Austronesian people, who live in the Mergui Archipelago, a group of approximately 800 islands in the Andaman Sea that is claimed both by Burma and Thailand. The Moken tribe spends most of their lives living in wooden boats off the shores of the 800 islands that comprise the Mergui Archipelago. The ‘sea gypsy’ children of this tribe have a incredible ability to see clearly underwater at depths of up to 75ft. They are a nomadic people who rely on spears and nets to catch fish and other things from the sea to eat.
They’re commonly called the “arrow people.” An isolated tribe from an area of Brazil called the Javari Valley, so little is known about them that we even have no idea what language they speak or what their ethnicity is. It is believed that until very recently, this tribe of about 30 members had absolutely no contact with outsiders until gold was discovered near their settlement. Locals and foreigners rushed to the area looking for their fortune. Just recently, a group mining illegally in the area confessed to killing and dismembering a group of about 10 of the arrow people and stealing their jewelry and tools.
It was not until the eighteenth century that the first westerner European explorer, Alexander Humboldt, encounter the Yanomami. He described them as a dangerous war mongering people and their reputation has changed little since this time. They reside in the rainforest of South America and the population count is comprehensively very high. The Yanomami depend on the rain forest; they use “slash-and-burn” horticulture, grow bananas, gather fruit, and hunt animals and fish. Yanomami frequently move to avoid areas that become overused, a practice known as shifting cultivation when the soil becomes exhausted.
The Yaifo live deep in the near-impenetrable jungles of East Sepik, in Papua New Guinea’s Central Ranges, a province with no roads, where they live alongside crocodile-infested rivers. Yaifo people practice headhunting, a tradition where the heads of dead enemies or intruders are kept and preserved as trophies. They are infamous for their six-week male initiation ceremony which would make boys a man “as strong as a crocodile” and help them understand how to cope in the rainforest. The secret and sacred ceremony of the Niowra is brutal. Initiates are beaten and force-fed every day.
Source : Greenpeace international
In the far-flung Arctic tundra on the very outskirts of Russia, the Nenets are a tribe of nomads who have carved out an existence in barren lands where temperatures drop to a staggering -50C. The Nenets people of the Siberian arctic are the guardians of a style of reindeer herding that is the last of its kind. The reindeer permeate Nenets culture, both physically and spiritually. Nenets use reindeer fur for their clothing and tents, eat reindeer meat as their staple food, and also sacrifice reindeer to the gods of their ancient animistic religion.
The Mashco Piro tribe
This tribe lives in the Madre de Dios Region in Peru. Mashco-Piro people have always been hostile towards outsiders and had avoided any contact with non-native people. During attempted contact in 2012, an explorer was found with a bamboo-arrow stuck in his heart. This rejection of outsiders saved them from being enslaved during the bloody rubber boom of Peru during the late 1800s.Peru, like India, prohibits contact with the Mashco Piro and another dozen uncontacted tribes, mainly because their immune systems carry little resistance to common illnesses. Exposure to even a common cold would be capable of wiping them out.
The Sentinelese Tribes
The Sentinelese are considered to be the most isolated tribes with a population of about 250-300 people. The Sentinelese are the indigenous people of North Sentinel Island in the Andaman Islands of India. Despite the fact that these hunter-gatherers appear to have only flat-bows and javelins, the Indian government, who controls the land, has said that they are so fierce that they have forbidden anyone to go within three miles of the island. A National Geographic team was forced to turn back after the lead team member got an arrow through his thigh, and two local guides were killed. It is believed that this tribe’s ancestors have lived on the island for at least 60,000 years.