Peru releases footage of uncontacted tribe

A group of Nanti people from Peru.
A group of Nanti people from Peru.
© Unknown/Survival

Peru’s Indigenous Affairs Department, Indepa, has released footage of uncontacted members of the Nanti tribe living in the remote Peruvian Amazon.

The footage was taken during an expedition led by Indepa to the Kugapakori Nahua Nanti Reserve in south-east Peru last year.

It remains unclear as to why contact was made with the Indians who are extremely vulnerable to diseases brought by outsiders.

Media speculation has led to claims that the Nanti are an ‘unknown’, ‘nomadic’, ‘lost’ tribe. In fact, they are well known to outsiders and are living within a reserve that has been set aside for their protection.

The Nanti are a hunting people who also grow crops in gardens around their villages. They number approximately 500 in total. Roughly half of the Nanti are in regular contact with outsiders while others have chosen to remain in voluntary isolation.

Peruvian law does not prevent oil companies from working in areas inhabited by uncontacted tribes and, despite government efforts, illegal loggers continue to plunder isolated peoples’ land.

Survival has written to Indepa asking it to clarify the circumstances that led to contact with the Nanti and enquiring what precautionary measures were taken to prevent the transmission of disease.