The last man of an uncontacted indigenous tribe in the Brazilian Amazon has passed away, making the tribe extinct.
The man was otherwise known as the “Indigenous man of the hole” because he sheltered in pits and dug holes into the ground to trap animals.
While the man had no contact with the outside world, authorities monitored his wellbeing from afar and would occasionally leave him supplies and gifts, which he always refused. Through their monitoring, officials found that he had passed away in a hammock surrounded by brightly colored feathers, a possible indication that he had prepared for death. He appears to have died of natural causes at an estimated 60 years old.
The man had lived in complete isolation for 26 years and resisted all attempts to be contacted, setting traps and shooting arrows at anyone who got too close. He was seen on camera once in 2018 during a chance encounter.
The majority of his tribe was killed in the 1970s, likely by cattle ranchers and land grabbers. Then in 1995, farmers attacked the seven remaining members. Six of them died, making him the only one to survive.
Activists are mourning the man’s death as it marks the loss of another ethnic language and culture. Groups like Survival International work to protect over 240 indigenous tribes in Brazil that still continue to face growing threats from illegal miners, loggers, and farmers.