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“Man of the hole,” the last survivor of an Indigenous tribe in Brazil, dies

An isolated Brazilian Indigenous tribe is now completely wiped off from the earth, with its last known survivor, called the “Man of the hole,” dead of natural causes.

Brazil’s Indigenous protection agency has announced that the unnamed Indigenous man was found dead last August 23 on a hammock at his hut during the agency official’s monitoring and territorial surveillance. Authorities believe that he died naturally as there were no traces of violence or struggle found at the site. His utensils and belongings were also found in their proper places at the hut.

A screenshot from the FUNAI website

The man was given the title, “Man of the hole” because of his habits, such as hiding in and constructing deep holes to trap animals. His abandoned campsites also revealed his lifestyle. He made houses out of straw and thatch and planted crops like papaya and corn.

He has isolated himself for the past 26 years in the Tanaru Indigenous Territory in western Amazon and has restricted contact from the outside world. Although occasionally, the authorities monitor him and leave out supplies.

According to Indigenous rights organization Survival International, he is among the few survivors of the several attacks by land grabbers and cattle ranchers in his community in the 1970s.

“No outsider knew this man’s name, or even very much about his tribe — and with his death the genocide of his people is complete,” Fiona Watson, the organizations’ research and advocacy director stated.

“Man of the hole” was last spotted by the public in 2018, in a footage released by the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), where he was seen chopping a tree using an ax-like tool.


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