The image: Newly released images from the Brazilian rain forest show several members of an isolated Amazonian tribe gazing skyward as an observation aircraft flies overhead. The pictures show barely clothed adults and children, some with their faces dyed red, some carrying bows and arrows. The images also reveal gardens with crops such as sweet potatoes, bananas, and papayas. The people are believed to be members of the Panoan tribe, one of 67 indigenous groups in Brazil that have little to no contact with the modern world. The images were taken by Brazil's National Indian Foundation and released by Survival International, a group that advocates for tribal people worldwide. Critics say the release of the photos was an invasion of the tribe's privacy, but Survival International said it was necessary to call attention to illegal logging that threatens the group's survival. "The people in these photos are self-evidently healthy and thriving," says Stephen Corry, Survival's director, as quoted by MSNBC. "What they need from us is their territory protected, so that they can make their own choices about their future."
The reaction: "These nostalgic images of a lost tropical world," says John Perivolaris at The Guardian, "tantalize us with the vain prospect that there are still undiscovered corners of the planet." But just because the Panoan Indians don't have sustained interactions with modern life, it doesn't mean they're unaware of it, notes Survival's International research director Fiona Watson, as quoted by Wired. "I've interviewed people who have gone through the process of contact," she says. "One of the things that struck me is that they know more about us than we think they do." See an image of the Amazonian tribe: