Journey to the Margins: A Visual Chronicle of Hidden Indigenous Tribes Around the World

By Sophia Maddox | April 26, 2024

The Carabayo: Unseen Protectors of Colombia's Virgin Jungle

Lost tribes, hidden away in remote jungles, deserts, mountains, or islands, preserve ancient ways of life that intrigue and captivate our imaginations. Their rich cultures and untold stories spark curiosity, offering a glimpse into a world untouched by modernity. These resilient communities cling to traditions and languages passed down through generations, showcasing the enduring strength of the human spirit. As we contemplate their existence, we're reminded of our own connection to history and what it truly means to thrive in harmony with nature. Join us on a journey to uncover the extraordinary tales of these lost tribes and celebrate the resilience that binds us all together.

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Contact with the Carabayo remains minimal. There are at least three groups of them living in Colombia's Río Puré National Park. They live in longhouses. The first contact with these people occurred over 400 years ago. That meeting resulted in violence as has every contact since then. The Colombian government has passed laws that no one is supposed to bother them.

Little is known about the Carabayo as they have limited contact with outsiders. They live deep within the dense rainforest, inhabiting remote areas along the rivers of the Amazon Basin. The Carabayo are believed to be hunter-gatherers, relying on hunting, fishing, and gathering wild plants for their subsistence.

Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau: People of the Amazon's Hidden Heartland

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The Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau live in small villages in the Western Brazilian state of Rondônia. Traditionally, they lived in homes built of wood, palm leaves, and thatch. The homes had very high roofs and doors on two sides to stimulate airflow. Today, they often live in wooden houses. They raise cassava, maize, and bananas on small plots. People also gather berries and nuts from the forest.

Initial contact with this group occurred in about 1906. Additional contact happened in 1980 when 250 people were counted. Within 13 years, their number fell to 88. Respiratory illnesses caused by outsiders decimated the area's six villages. In the early 2020s, the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau embraced technology to make a film portraying their plight.

The Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau holds many unique festivals throughout the year. Men often play bamboo flutes and dance during these festivals.