Amazon’s ‘Man in the hole’


A story of an isolated indigenous Amazonian tribe who lived in remote rain forest of Rondônia region in Brazil. The tribe is locally known as ‘man in the hole’ because the tribe has a habit of digging protective pits. By the early 1990s the man in the hole’s tribe was reduced to just six members.

According to FUNAI – the national Indian foundation, most of the ‘man in the hole’s kin were killed in attacks by farmers and loggers during the 1980s and 1990s. Among the six members of the tribe one man was left and  he is the only remaining survivor following the last recorded attack on the tribe in 1995.

The man was lastly seen on Brazilian documentary Corumbiara in the 1998. Corumbiara revealed several attacks which are going on remote tribes in the previous decades. Since then Government made the area as a protected reserve. In the 1980s the government built a motorway through that region of the Amazon which disrupted their normal lives.

In spite of his loneliness since more than two decades;  the man appeared to be “in good health” and looked “fit” in the video footage.

The tribe was formally identified by FUNAI in 1996, after which the agency made a number of attempts to contact the tribesman. After their unsuccessful attempts it became clear that the man was not interested to leave the forest and move in towards civilization and hence FUNAI stopped their attempts in 2005.


A small hut full of bows and arrows were seen in the area where he lives and he also has a small garden where he grows papayas, bananas and corn.

He digs these big holes round his territory that are about 1.5 to two meters deep.


Featured image : FUNAI, Fiona Watson, The Telegraph

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