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An unidentified indigenous man, believed to be the last of his tribe, died in Brazil’s western Amazon.

According to the human rights organization Survival International, he was known as the “man of the hole” for his habit of building deep holes, some with pointed stakes.

“The rest of his people had been massacred in a series of attacks from the 1970s onwards, but little was known about his people as they resisted attempts to contact them,” a press release read.

He was the only inhabitant of the indigenous territory of Tanaru in the state of Rondonia.

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A still image from a FUNAI video of The Man of the Hole, shot during a government monitoring mission.
(FUNAI)

Fiona Watson, Survival’s director of research and advocacy, visited the territory in 2004.

“No outsider knew the name of this man, or even much of his tribe – and with his death the genocide of his people is complete. Because this was truly a genocide – the deliberate elimination of an entire people by cattle ranchers hungry for land and wealth, “he said.

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The man with the hole looks out from his hut, a photo from the film Corumbiara, by director Vincent Carelli.

The man with the hole looks out from his hut, a photo from the film Corumbiara, by director Vincent Carelli.
(Vincenzo Carelli)

Watson told Fox News that no one knows for sure why humans built deep holes, but perhaps they were used to hunt game for food. Holes have also been found in its tiny thatched huts, perhaps a place to hide. It is also possible that the holes had some sort of ritual function.

The man has lived in total isolation for the past 26 years, BBC News reports. It is believed that he was 60 years old and died of natural causes.

“Her body was found on August 23 in a hammock outside her thatched hut. There were no signs of violence,” according to BBC News.

The man had reportedly put feathers on himself, which could be a sign that he knew death was imminent. Watson had not heard that news, but added that a FUNAI – or field team from the Brazilian government’s Indigenous Affairs Department – reported finding it in her hammock with various items she used in her daily life in the hut with him.

He probably died 40 to 50 days before his body was found.

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The man was filmed by a government team in 2018 during a chance encounter.

The territory in which the man lived was a small forest island in a sea of ​​vast cattle ranches, in one of the most violent regions of Brazil. Organizations like Survival International and others in Brazil have been fighting for the protection of the earth for many years.



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