Tuesday, June 24, 2008

No-so-undiscovered tribe

The news we passed along a couple weeks ago regarding the "discovery" of an unknown rainforest tribespeople turns out to have been fabricated, somewhat.

In fact, the people are real, but their existence and location have been known for 100 years. Evidently, the photographer felt it was time to give rainforest protection another PR shot in the arm.

Did the end justify the means?


Isaac said...

I thought the original article claimed them as being "uncontacted" (as in not having contact with the outside world) as opposed to "undiscovered". Didn't the original article say that there were numerous un-contacted tribes? Wouldn't that de-facto mean that all those tribes had already been "discovered"--just not contacted? Maybe I'm reading it wrong but it seems like the media are blowing this "hoax" out of proportion...? They're still un-contacted right?

Matt Mullenix said...

I guess we'd have to find out what "un-contacted" means?

If they've been known about for 100 years, someone must have met them face to face, at least once (no remote sensing back then).

I think it's clear the original story was meant to imply this tribe was previously unknown before the photos, and the photoagrapher seems to admit as much.

Maybe now with TWO news cycles to its credit (one as genuine and one as hoax), the PR objective can be considered a huge success. :-) We are still talking about remote rainforest peoples, after all.

Mike Spies said...

Was this a deliberate deception?

The truth is the last refuge from the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Anonymous said...

In that the photographer had good motives, and as far as I can tell didn't try to profit from his "discovery," the deception seems harmless enough.