Ramblings & ephemera

Lost tribe hoaxes

From Adam Goodheart’s “The Last Island of the Savages” (The American Scholar, Autumn 2000, 69(4):13-44):

Even so, every few years there is a report of one “lost tribe” or another – usually in the Amazon rain forest or the highlands of New Guinea – staggering naked from the jungle into the dazzling glare of modernity. Such stories are almost invariably followed by a retraction: the tribesmen turn out to have T-shirts and cigarettes stashed back in their huts, and the original report turns out to have been a mistake or a fraud. (The most famous such incident was the so-called Tasaday hoax of 1971, involving a supposed Stone Age tribe in the Philippines; the tribesmen were Filipino farmers whom local politicians had coerced into posing as naked cave-men for the camera crews from CBS and National Geographic.)

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