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Lost Amazon tribe found in Brazil

Lost Amazon tribe found in Brazil

A 200-member lost tribe has been spotted in Brazil's Amazon rainforest.

London: A 200-member lost tribe has been spotted in Brazil's Amazon rainforest, a media report said Friday.

Their existence was verified after airplane expeditions in April gathered more data, Daily Mail reported.

Brazil has a policy of not contacting such tribes but working to prevent the invasion of their land, it said.

The National Indian Foundation, known by its Portuguese acronym Funai, estimates 68 isolated populations in the Amazon.

The most recently identified tribe lives in four large, straw-roofed buildings and grows corn, bananas, peanuts and other crops, the Mail said.

According to Funai, preliminary observation indicates they belong to the pano language group.

The community is near the border with Peru in the massive Vale do Javari reservation, which is nearly the size of Portugal and is home to at least 14 uncontacted tribes.

"The work of identifying and protecting isolated groups is part of Brazilian public policy.

"To confirm something like this takes years of methodical work," the report quoted Funai coordinator, Fabricio Amorim, as saying.

The region has a constellation of uncontacted people considered the largest in the world, he said.

Their culture, and even their survival, is threatened by illegal fishing, hunting, logging and mining in the area, along with deforestation by farmers, missionary activity and drug trafficking along Brazil's borders, Amorim said.

Brazil's indigenous groups won legal rights in 1988 to reclaim their territory that declared all indigenous ancestral lands be demarcated and turned over to tribes.

So far, 11 percent of Brazilian territory and about 22 percent of the Amazon have been turned over to such groups, the Mail said.

first published:June 25, 2011, 11:11 IST