Watch Remote Tribes See Modern Wonders for the First Time

As modernity encroaches upon indigenous people’s lands, these isolated tribes are struggling to maintain their way of life.

Watch Remote Tribes See Modern Wonders for the First Time 5 VIDEOS

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    Uncontacted Amazon Tribe Aerial Footage
  • 3:48
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    Uncontacted Tribes in the Amazon That Are Being Displaced
  • 14:51
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    Papua New Guinea Tribe Meets White Man for the First Time
  • 49:03
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    The Totally Isolated Tribe of the Andaman
  • 5:00
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    Never Seen Before Images of Peru's Mashco Piro Tribe
Feb 6, 2015·
Rachel Kraus is the senior social media manager for TakePart. She has managed the An Inconvenient Truth community since 2013.

In the 1980 independent film The Gods Must Be Crazy, a bottle of Coca-Cola falls from a small airplane and plunges the tribe of African “bush” people who find it into chaos. It’s the first time anyone from the Sho tribe has seen this sort of modern technology, and the new “tool” divides the people, causing jealousy, anger, and violence. To restore order, the film’s protagonist embarks on a journey to dispose of the bottle, and his community returns to normal.

Not all remote tribes who encounter modernity are so lucky. Around the world, groups that have avoided or withdrawn from contact with the outside world are under threat from oil drilling, logging, gold mining, and missionaries. Contact can lead to violent altercations, and viruses common in the developed world can be deadly.

More than half of all isolated groups can be found in South America; others are in Asia and islands off Asia. (A complete list is here.) In these videos, meet five of the most obscure tribes on Earth.

1. Awá (Brazil) and Matsés (Peru): These groups live in huts in the rainforest along the Andira River. Illegal logging in Peru is causing tribes to flee deeper into the jungle, across the border of Brazil. According to Survival International, Peru’s government has denied the existence of such isolated tribes; Brazil’s Indian affairs department works to keep the tribes from contact.

2. Ayoreo (Paraguay): Once nomadic, these hunters and gatherers live on privately owned land. They are the only remote tribe in South America outside the Amazon. Parts of their homeland are under development, and it is believed that no more than 300 tribal members remain.

3. Dongria Kondh (India): These people are under threat from aluminum interests that want to mine in the Niyamgiri Hills, where they live.

4. Jarawa (North Sentinel Island, Bay of Bengal): These are considered the most isolated humans on Earth. After the 2004 tsunami, one Sentinelese man discouraged a helicopter pilot from landing by aiming an arrow at it.

5. Dani, Korowai, and other Papuan tribes (New Guinea): A military occupation of Papua and West Papua by Indonesia has resulted in violence and human rights violations for these tribes. In the video above, you can see a tribe on the western half of this island meeting a Westerner in 1976 for the first time.