Activists striving to protect the indigenous Yanomami tribes living on the Brazilian side of the border are increasing their efforts to ensure safety of the communities that are at risk from illegal gold miners.
Photos taken by a photographer during an official government overflight to assess the number of gold miners in the Yanomami territory are being used to showcase to the world the need to protect these indigenous tribes as well as to reveal to the world the dangers they face from illegal miners who not only harass them, but also bring with them diseases like malaria that these tribes have never suffered from.
According to details revealed by Survival International, this particular village [image above] is in the Yanomami indigenous territory located in the north of Brazil very close to the border. The charity states that as many as 22,000 Yanomami live on the Brazilian side of the border, and at least 3 groups of them have no contact with outsiders with all of them being highly vulnerable to violence and disease from outsiders.
The image shows off the tribals living in what is known as “yano” structure. Each of the sections of the thatch is believed to house a different family, and is where they sleep, keep fires and store food. The community in this particular image seems to be comprising of 100 members and is secluded from the outside world.
This particular community is at risk of being destroyed by gold miners who are working illegally in their territory. When the indigenous people come in contact with miners, they are affected by diseases they have never been affected with previously and this means that they are at risk of death. Beyond the disease, there is violence and harassment and environmental destruction that put these indigenous tribes at risk. There is little government intervention to protect them, according to campaigners.
Yanomami shaman and activist Davi Kopenawa Yanomami said: “The place where the uncontacted Indians live, fish, hunt and plant must be protected. The whole world must know that they are there in their forest and that the authorities must respect their right to live there.” Davi is president of the Yanomami association Hutukara and has been called “The Dalai Lama of the Rainforest.”
Without continued support, the team responsible for the Yanomami region will be unable to protect the territory from invaders, and might even be closed down completely. This would leave the uncontacted Yanomami at risk of annihilation.