Monday, June 27, 2011

New Tribe Found in South America

When Europeans began to go forth into the wilds of the unknown looking not only for treasures and notoriety but also new and strange peoples. Francisco Pizarro was look for gold, Lewis and Clark were doing a survey of the land the United States Government had purchased, David Livingstone was looking for people to bring the message of Christ to.  All of these explorers, whether motivated by good or evil, made contact with foreign people who spoke in unknown languages and practiced strange customs they could not understand their function.

This week a new tribe was found in the remote Brazilian jungles of South America.  The immediate response of the intellectual elite and government agencies was to lock the people away to allow them to retain their "primitive" and isolated culture.  Some of the reasons may be good, they do not want the people to be taken advantage of, turned into slave labor by the local profiteers.  On a deeper level they also are trying to keep missionaries out because they think that peoples cultures and beliefs are more important than their souls.  Another reason for keeping the outside world out is so that the intelligentsia can study them like a group of lab rats. 

I once read a book called Pitcairn's Island by Charles Nordhoff.  It is a terrifying true story about the crew of the HMS Bounty after their mutiny.  Drunkenness, greed, rape, assassination, and murder all occurred in those first years of their occupation of Pitcairn's Island.  And one more crime also occurred.  The only man to own a Bible taught another European member of the crew to read it but refused to share the histories in its pages with their native Polynesian wives and felt his pupil should do the same.  However, all the other members of the crew except this pupil of the crew passed away in some horrible manner leaving the wives to him.  The crew member married all the women and share the histories and truths of the Bible with them bringing peace to the island.

Here is the point of this story.  Keeping these newly found tribe isolated from the rest of the world does not keep them safe and those who try to keep the words of life from them only bring death both to themselves and the "primitive" tribe.  To seek out these isolated tribes would be a grand adventure almost like Livingston traveling into darkest Africa for the purpose of reaching them for Christ.

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