Incredible photos give a rare look into the life of the “world’s most endangered tribe” who still hunt with bows and arrows to survive in their shrinking forest.
There are only around 80 of the nomadic Awá, one of the last “uncontacted” tribes of the Amazon, in a reserve in the Maranhão forest in Brazil.
They live as they have for centuries, using bows and arrows to hunt armadillos and gathering wild honey and babassu nuts in the dense primal forest.
The images are from the October 2018 issue of National Geographic Magazine.
One image shows an Awá hunter with a small deer on his back while holding his bow and arrows with a hunting dog following behind.
Another shows a group of women and a baby bathing in a river in the pristine rainforest.
Like the forest, the Awás’ very existence is threatened by illegal loggers, miners and drug traffickers invading their home.
The Awá live in a state of “near-constant” flight from the chainsaws and wildfires.
The Guajajara tribe also resides in the same area, but have made contact with isolated society over the decades.
Tainaky Tenetehar, of the Guajajara tribe, told National Geographic how he and his group of Forest Guardians protect the “isolated ones” from fleeing.
He added: “Who’s going to fight for the isolated ones, if not us?”
“The loggers are entering all around the perimeter of the indigenous land.
“Their intention is to reach the center—where the isolados are. They have no choice but to flee when the loggers come.”
The Forest Guardians set logging trucks on fire, seize weapons and chain saws to keep the criminals at bay.
The Awá’s existence has sparked legal protection for nearly 4,800 square miles of woodlands, but it has not stopped the illegal logging.
This story originally appeared in The Sun.