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Myths about uncontacted tribes

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    Posted: 22 Feb 2013 at 12:34
Some tribal people have choosen to remain free and not have any contact with the modern mass culture. This has made them targets for a lot of prejudice and myths. Here are some of the myths around them and the human rights organization Survivals refutation of those myths.
 
Quote Myths
  • MYTH: They aren’t aware of the outside world

    Everyone has neighbours, even when they’re some distance away, and they’ll know who they are. If it’s another tribe, they may or may not have friendly relations with them. And many uncontacted tribes have suffered appalling violence in the past from settlers.

  • MYTH: They are living in the ‘Stone Age’

    All peoples are changing all the time and always have, including uncontacted tribes. Survival doesn’t talk about ‘pristine’ tribes or cultures. They are not backward or ‘Stone Age’, they just live differently.

  • MYTH: Reports of uncontacted tribes are faked

    Some ‘first contacts’ are acts for the benefit of tourists, but there are actually quite a lot of real uncontacted tribes, and more are ‘discovered’ all the time. Sometimes, they are surprisingly close to people who’ve been in contact for decades, or longer.

  • MYTH: They can’t be left alone forever

    Whose choice should it be, theirs or ‘ours’? If a people chooses to make contact with wider society, they’ll find a way. The problem is that the belief that they are primitive and incapable of deciding for themselves is still widespread.

  • MYTH: If they are contacted, they can have the benefits of ‘our’ way of life

    They won’t get the chance. In reality, the future offered by settler society is to ‘join’ at the lowest possible level – often as beggars and prostitutes. History proves that tribal peoples usually end up in a far worse state after contact, often dead.
      Many times these peoples are persecuted and subject to violence, mission and so called civilizing attempts from the mass culture, which often means disaster for them. Many times religious fanatics and others rant about naked savages (as if it is a crime to be naked), stone age peoples and other epithets. It seems that many so called civilized people are incapable of seeing the qualities and benefits of indigenous cultures and a life close to the nature.
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 2013 at 06:05

    Quote ◦MYTH: They aren’t aware of the outside world
    Everyone has neighbours, even when they’re some distance away, and they’ll know who they are. If it’s another tribe, they may or may not have friendly relations with them. And many uncontacted tribes have suffered appalling violence in the past from settlers.

    Agreed. Myth.
    Quote ◦MYTH: They are living in the ‘Stone Age’
    All peoples are changing all the time and always have, including uncontacted tribes. Survival doesn’t talk about ‘pristine’ tribes or cultures. They are not backward or ‘Stone Age’, they just live differently.

    Not a myth. They often are living in the Stone Age, it is racism that suggests that's a bad thing.
    Quote ◦MYTH: Reports of uncontacted tribes are faked
    Some ‘first contacts’ are acts for the benefit of tourists, but there are actually quite a lot of real uncontacted tribes, and more are ‘discovered’ all the time. Sometimes, they are surprisingly close to people who’ve been in contact for decades, or longer.

    I would believe that's a myth, but the last "uncontacted" peoples here were "contacted" in the 1960s.
    Quote ◦MYTH: They can’t be left alone forever
    Whose choice should it be, theirs or ‘ours’? If a people chooses to make contact with wider society, they’ll find a way. The problem is that the belief that they are primitive and incapable of deciding for themselves is still widespread.

    Most certainly it should not be yours. Or anyone else who lives tens of thousands of kilometers away. I don't think this is a myth, if there are not aware of a thread they will succub to it eventually.
    Quote ◦MYTH: If they are contacted, they can have the benefits of ‘our’ way of life
    They won’t get the chance. In reality, the future offered by settler society is to ‘join’ at the lowest possible level – often as beggars and prostitutes. History proves that tribal peoples usually end up in a far worse state after contact, often dead.

    In this country left-wing white intellectuals have been the overwhelmingly dominant group in trying to spread "benefits", which in previous decades has been tantamount to genocide. However, that is not to say that all "benefits" are not unwanted. I have never heard an aboriginie say that they want their tribe/group to remain as they always have been. They want to adopt much change and improvement but not everything the whitey's try to force upon them is wanted or an improvement.
    Quote Many times these peoples are persecuted and subject to violence, mission and so called civilizing attempts from the mass culture, which often means disaster for them. Many times religious fanatics and others rant about naked savages (as if it is a crime to be naked), stone age peoples and other epithets. It seems that many so called civilized people are incapable of seeing the qualities and benefits of indigenous cultures and a life close to the nature.

    This is true. Usually left wing European intellecuals who think they know better. The biggest damage is done by those who "study" them or "protect" them. By people who consider them different and focus on them. The absolutely worst people to be involved are human rights organizations like Survivals.

    (FYI, referring to people as Tribal people is racist. You are making a very strong implication that tribal people are inferior and not advanced. Some tribes rule advanced nations. Other tribes inflict humiliated defeats on superpowers. It is a normal way of human organisation.)

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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2013 at 15:13


    Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

    Not a myth. They often are living in the Stone Age, it is racism that suggests that's a bad thing

     

    Technologically some of them still use stone tools (others have adopted different kind of metal tools and similar). But that does not mean that they have not changed since the times when the majority of Earths people had a stone age economy, ie the stone age proper.


    Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

    Most certainly it should not be yours. Or anyone else who lives tens of thousands of kilometers away. I don't think this is a myth, if there are not aware of a thread they will succub to it eventually.

     

    These people are often more aware of threats and the outside world than we think. Many of them have some contact with neighboring indigenous peoples who inform them about the threats from the mass culture. And many of them have chosen a more isolated life because of earlier persecutions from the dominating society.


    Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

    In this country left-wing white intellectuals have been the overwhelmingly dominant group in trying to spread "benefits", which in previous decades has been tantamount to genocide. However, that is not to say that all "benefits" are not unwanted. I have never heard an aboriginie say that they want their tribe/group to remain as they always have been. They want to adopt much change and improvement but not everything the whitey's try to force upon them is wanted or an improvement.

     

    Yes, today when most of their resources are stolen it is rather difficult to live in the old ways, even if they should like to do so. But the main thing is that it must be up to the peoples themselves to evaluate what benefits they want from the so called modern civilization. If they are forced into this civilisation they often end up in a place where their access to the real benefits are very limited.


    Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

    This is true. Usually left wing European intellecuals who think they know better. The biggest damage is done by those who "study" them or "protect" them. By people who consider them different and focus on them. The absolutely worst people to be involved are human rights organizations like Survivals.

     

    You are misinformed. The worst is commercial interests (often together with politicians on national, regional or local level) who want to expropriate the land of the indigenous peoples and extract its resources. As some sort of a tail come missionaries and others who want to change or use these peoples in other ways.

     
    And if it had not been for organisations like Survival even more groups of indigenous peoples would have been eradicated by landgrabbers and exploitive, commercial and political interests.
     

    Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

    (FYI, referring to people as Tribal people is racist. You are making a very strong implication that tribal people are inferior and not advanced. Some tribes rule advanced nations. Other tribes inflict humiliated defeats on superpowers. It is a normal way of human organisation.)
     

    It is not racist to call a people tribal. It is an anthropological term that in a way describes how people organize their communities. One can also call them small scale or decentralized self-sustaining communities. One can of course be even more specific and divide them into bands, tribes, chiefdoms and so on, but it would perhaps be too detailed and also somewhat outdated. Otherwise one can of course also talk about indigenous or aboriginal peoples.



    Edited by Carcharodon - 25 Feb 2013 at 15:16
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2013 at 08:56
    Originally posted by Carch Carch wrote:



    Technologically some of them still use stone tools (others have adopted different kind of metal tools and similar). But that does not mean that they have not changed since the times when the majority of Earths people had a stone age economy, ie the stone age proper.

    Abosolutely. There has been plenty of change. But I dismiss your concept of Stone Age proper as Eurocentric. The "Stone Age Proper" where I live means the 1820s! That's not to suggest nothing has changed in 10,000 years, but there hasn't been much technological advancement.
    Quote These people are often more aware of threats and the outside world than we think. Many of them have some contact with neighboring indigenous peoples who inform them about the threats from the mass culture. And many of them have chosen a more isolated life because of earlier persecutions from the dominating society.

    I think that's just speculation. It may or may not be true for any individual group.
    Quote
    Quote This is true. Usually left wing European intellecuals who think they know better. The biggest damage is done by those who "study" them or "protect" them. By people who consider them different and focus on them. The absolutely worst people to be involved are human rights organizations like Survivals.

    You are misinformed. The worst is commercial interests (often together with politicians on national, regional or local level) who want to expropriate the land of the indigenous peoples and extract its resources. As some sort of a tail come missionaries and others who want to change or use these peoples in other ways.
     
    And if it had not been for organisations like Survival even more groups of indigenous peoples would have been eradicated by landgrabbers and exploitive, commercial and political interests.

    Not at all, your view is a very simple and potentially very dangerous one. I challenge you to examine Australian history and decide whether Aboriginal groups did better in the long run in the "care" of organisations or being exploited by commercial interests.
    Agriculturalists were in the forefront of taking the land from the aboriginies. They deprived them of land, their livelihood and dramatically altered their culture. However, if you didn't stand in their way to profit, they didn't trouble you, and if you helped them get a profit, they helped you. Aboriginal cultures survived much much better working on these properties than they did off them. They employed the Aborigines and didn't interfere in their culture.

    Organisations on the otherhand, whether they be government, or NGO (there is abosolutely no difference between missionaries and groups like Survival. They have exactly the same euro-centric racist views an impose their oppression on the native peoples under the guise of helping them) have caused huge abuse. They were responsible for the stolen generations, they were responsible for prohibiting the speaking of aboriginal language, they committed the biggest damage. Commercial interests never did this.

    Better to be exploited as your own people than to be "helped" as a study speciman by anthropologists.

    You can extend this to records of Aboriginal culture at contact, who kept better records, who can we trust today? The pastoralists and telegraph operators? Or the anthropologists? Virtually everything the anthropologists wrote is useless, wrong and racist. Commercial interests wrote down, kept alive, and propagated indigineous culture through writing.

    The person who knows this subject perhaps better than anyone is Marcia Langton. You are an academic right? Perhaps you should get in contact with her.
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/boyerlectures/boyers-summer-1/4434098#transcript

    Originally posted by Carch Carch wrote:

    It is not racist to call a people tribal. It is an anthropological term that in a way describes how people organize their communities. One can also call them small scale or decentralized self-sustaining communities. One can of course be even more specific and divide them into bands, tribes, chiefdoms and so on, but it would perhaps be too detailed and also somewhat outdated. Otherwise one can of course also talk about indigenous or aboriginal peoples.

    Tribal communties are normal all over the middle east and indian subcontinent. Gaddafi drew very strong support from his tribe, as does Bashar al Asad from his. The tribes of NWFP in Pakistan wield considerable power both against (Waziri and the Mehsoud) and for (the Afridi) the NATO forces in Afghanistan. These are tribal people but they are not the people you are talking about.
    In Australia we usually say 'small remote communities' for the people you are referring to. Because even aboriginal doesn't distinguish between the urban educated union activist and the remote community hunting dewgong in the Torres Straight.
     
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2013 at 11:14

    Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

    Abosolutely. There has been plenty of change. But I dismiss your concept of Stone Age proper as Eurocentric. The "Stone Age Proper" where I live means the 1820s! That's not to suggest nothing has changed in 10,000 years, but there hasn't been much technological advancement. .

    No people today is totally undisturbed by other societies. Also a lot of social experimenting and historical circumstances separate these people from the times when all peoples in our world lived with stone age technologies. So it is not totally correct to call them stone age peoples, even if some use stone technology.


    Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

    I think that's just speculation. It may or may not be true for any individual group. .

    Ofcourse it can vary, but in many case neighbouring indigenous people can bear whitness about contacts with these groups and tell about the reason from their isolation from the majority society.


    Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

    Not at all, your view is a very simple and potentially very dangerous one. I challenge you to examine Australian history and decide whether Aboriginal groups did better in the long run in the "care" of organisations or being exploited by commercial interests.
    Agriculturalists were in the forefront of taking the land from the aboriginies. They deprived them of land, their livelihood and dramatically altered their culture. However, if you didn't stand in their way to profit, they didn't trouble you, and if you helped them get a profit, they helped you. Aboriginal cultures survived much much better working on these properties than they did off them. They employed the Aborigines and didn't interfere in their culture. .

    If you look at it in a more global scale you still see that commercial interests (everything from landgrabbers for agriculture, plantations, settling, logging, extraction of natural products (gold, silver, rubber and much more) have driven countless of aboriginal peoples off their land. You can just look at the situation in South America (for example Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina and others), North America, the Pacific, parts of Asia, parts of Africa. On top of that indigenous peoples also comes in the way of political and violent conflicts between other groups (between or inside national states).

    And that aboriginals should fare better living on agriculture is not true, at least not in all cases. In Australia those people who have retained most of their hunter-gatherer ways have actually been healthier than those more integrated in mainstream society (at least according to Survival internationals report Progress can kill)

    Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

    Organisations on the otherhand, whether they be government, or NGO (there is abosolutely no difference between missionaries and groups like Survival. They have exactly the same euro-centric racist views an impose their oppression on the native peoples under the guise of helping them) have caused huge abuse. They were responsible for the stolen generations, they were responsible for prohibiting the speaking of aboriginal language, they committed the biggest damage. Commercial interests never did this. .

    The difference between groups as Suvival and missionaries are enormous. Missionaries want to change peoples cultures and impose a foreign religion, foreign customs, foreign ethics. They want to have power over other peoples minds and bodies and pacify them into victims that are easy to exploit in different ways (concerning for example power relations and echonomy). Survival and similar organisations want to support these people to keep, or regain, their independency and to support them in their struggle for freedom and land. Many of the peoples that survival cooperates with have actually themselves taken the initiative to the contact with Survival and asked them for assistance. Survival works together with the indigenous organisations and try to assist them according to their own (the indigenous organisations) wishes.


    Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

    Tribal communties are normal all over the middle east and indian subcontinent. Gaddafi drew very strong support from his tribe, as does Bashar al Asad from his. The tribes of NWFP in Pakistan wield considerable power both against (Waziri and the Mehsoud) and for (the Afridi) the NATO forces in Afghanistan. These are tribal people but they are not the people you are talking about.
    In Australia we usually say 'small remote communities' for the people you are referring to. Because even aboriginal doesn't distinguish between the urban educated union activist and the remote community hunting dewgong in the Torres Straight.

    Many of the tribal peoples in the Middle East have been parts of (or themselves upheld) state organized societies for ages, they have had kings and been members of states and empires. Sure, there are kinship based clans still surviving but few of them could historically speaking really be called tribes proper (in the traditional anthropological sense). But as always concerning these matters, terminology can be somewhat confused and many more or less synonymous expressions are used.

    One can of course be more specific and use designations based on organization, or economics. One alternative is for example small, self-sustaining indigenous, rural (or remote as you say in Australia) groups, communities or peoples. You can also talk about hunter gatherers, small scale farmers, pastoralists and so on.

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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2013 at 11:18
    Most of the peoples that today are labelled uncontacted live in South America but some also live in Asia (for example the Sentineli on andaman islands, India) and New Guinea.
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncontacted_peoples
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RAMESH.V.NAIVARUNI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 2013 at 13:34

    The people who live in Andamans & Nicobar Islands live a life in seculsion as there is a lots of pressure on the locals to part their lands through pressure and that too when the Government of India has barred other Indian National to own property in these places.

    While the locals are trying their best to keep their traditions on, there is pressure through local politicos on the locals to be their be-nami ( Just for name sake owners).
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lao Tse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 2013 at 15:48
    My opinion about uncontactd tribes is:
    1. They must have some form of civilized being or they would've been run over by another nation or fallen apart by now
    2. THERE IS A REASON WHY THEY'RE NOT CONTACTED, so in my opinion, we should just leave them be and make sure no one bothers them
    3. Uncontacted tribes leave an opening to the world to show how far we've come and gone, and this opening is a good thing
    4. These tribal territories are likely thousands or tens of thousands of years old, like an un-changed time capsule. We could learn from them
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kanaka Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2014 at 07:07
      It is wrong to assume of population of whom we know nothing.  An hour ago I was reading about a clan  who either were predecessors to the Sumer civilisation or were contemporaries.  I believe they were a civilisation of a higher learning, torchbearers who kindled way to new generation of people.
    Reading that i feel the theory of Tilak that migration began from North Pole seems much convincing contrary to the theory iraq is the cradle of civilisations.
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2014 at 10:07
    Omar:
    I can understand where you're coming from, but I don't think that British attempts to bring our Aborigines into the 19th and 20th centuries were, in their intent, wrong.
     
    Past policies on Aborigines were no doubt inappropriate and resulted in Aboriginal pain for generations.
     
    Today, with the benefit of hindsight and better education on the part of the white settlers, I tend to think that the Aborigines may well have been better off if they had been left alone-they didn't need alcohol, tobacco or many of the other social ills our ancestors brought with them.
     
    The Aborigines, in a bit over 200 years, have had to make a gigantic leap from being Stone Age people, to coping with the societal ideas and technologies of the 18th century to 20th century-a leap  of about 60,000years!
     
    The problem is that many Aborigines saw advantages in how the whites lived and craved the same lifestyle, some managed the transition, some didn't.
     
    You're correct, the last Aborigines to be contacted by whites in Australia was in 1965 and it was a small family group of about ten people. They were apparently aware of the whites, but saw no need to get involved with them until coaxed to do so by other Aborigines.
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2014 at 18:27
    In here, at least, natives rap, study calculus and ride in 4x4 trucks. I am afraid, uncontacted people are very few. In Brazil, for instance, there are just a few bands that are kept isolated from outsiders, not because they are unknown, but to protect them of the evil of the so called "civilized people".


    Edited by pinguin - 16 Mar 2014 at 18:29
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2014 at 00:16
    Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

    In here, at least, natives rap, study calculus and ride in 4x4 trucks. I am afraid, uncontacted people are very few. In Brazil, for instance, there are just a few bands that are kept isolated from outsiders, not because they are unknown, but to protect them of the evil of the so called "civilized people".
    Penguin:
     
    Make no mistake, we have some Aborigines who have made the transition very well and have attained positions in politics, law, education and so on.
     
    But, sadly, they are a very small percentage of the Aboriginal population.
     
     
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2014 at 00:29
    Well, South America is not Australia. In here, we are all indigenous at least in part.

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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2014 at 00:38
    Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

    Well, South America is not Australia. In here, we are all indigenous at least in part.

     In here, we are all indigenous at least in part.
    Well, that's not strictly true, is it?
     
    You have European people the same as we do.
     
    Well, South America is not Australia
    As for your comment, how pleased I am for that.
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2014 at 01:35
    Well, it depends what you mean by "European". In here, most European looking people are European descendants that arrived 3 or more generations ago. Besides, people has mixed so much that there are Indians that are blond and blue eyes, and "Europeans" that look indigenous. And also in here there is not a barrier between races, like it happened among former British colonies, where the relation with natives is usually in an apartheid style.

    And yes, South America is not Australia. Here in our part of the hemisphere we have 400 hundred million people, a large manufacturing bass, we have huge mountains and modern mammals, so you can't compare it in any way.




    Edited by pinguin - 17 Mar 2014 at 02:01
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2014 at 01:47
    Credo nos in fluctu eodem esse!
    (I think we're on the same wavelength)
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2014 at 02:06
    You bet :)
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