Previously unknown Indian tribe discovered in Brazil

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Amazon rainforest area in South America

An Indian tribe, thought to have had little previous contact with civilization, was found in a remote area of the Amazon, approximately 2000 km to the north of Rio de Janeiro. It comprises 87 members. Called Metyktire, they are reported to be by and large naked, except that the men use penis sheaths, and the women shave the tops of their heads.

The reason for their not being discovered before now is thought to be at least partly due to the lack of larger rivers in the area, which makes communication difficult. The discovery was made when two members of the Metyktire tribe suddenly showed up in the Kayapo tribe's village, in the Menkregnoti reservation of the Amazon. The Metyktire tribe is a subgroup of the Kayapo tribe, with which it has had little significant contact, but the members speak an archaic form of the Kayapo language.

In order to protect the members of the tribe from diseases they might lack resistance to, the Brazilian government has forbidden contact with them except for a team of doctors which has been sent in to examine them.