Mashco-Piro Tribe Makes Contact In Peru [Video]

The Mashco-Piro tribe has made contact with residents along the Las Piedras river in Peru. More than 100 members of the elusive tribe approached members of the Yine community on June 24, 25, and 26.

The tribe members were reportedly seeking supplies. They asked for bananas machetes, and rope.

As reported by NBC News, rangers are posted along the river to prevent conflict with the Monte Salvado community. The rangers stopped the tribe from crossing the river, and directed them to a banana grove.

The Mashco-Piro are rarely seen. However, members of local communities were frightened by their sudden appearance.

The male members of the tribe were carrying numerous weapons, including bows, arrows, and spears. They appeared to be agitated.

Officials suspect the tribe is unhappy about destruction of their land. Oil and gas exploration has increased in recent years. The activity has threatened their hunting grounds.

Illegal loggers are another concern. Conflict with loggers is blamed for the deaths of numerous Mashco-Piro members in the 1980s.

The tribe spoke a variation of the Yine language. Ranger Rommel Ponciano spoke with the natives. However, communication was difficult. Despite the language barrier, Ponciano is credited with avoiding a conflict.

Carlos Soria, former leader of the park protection agency, explains that the Mashco-Piro can be aggressive. He states that their code of ethics allows for kidnapping of women and children from other communities.

An estimated 15 isolated tribes exist in the remote jungles of the Andes. There are close to 15,000 natives living in the mountainous region.

Contact with outsiders can be deadly for the natives, as they are vulnerable to infection and disease. As reported by Huffington Post, Peru law strictly prohibits contact with isolated tribes.

Mashco-Piro sightings are rare. However, they have appeared at times when their resources were sparse. The tribe disappeared back into the wilderness on June 26, and has not been seen again.

[Image via Flickr]