15 Isolated Tribes Cut Off From Modern Society

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From groups of natives living just outside city limits to tribes discovered by accident wandering the forest, we count 15 small civilisations untouched by modern society.

15 – The Yahi Group

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  • This is part of a larger group known as the Yana people, a tribe of Native Americans indigenous to Northern California and the Sierra Navada Mountains
  • In the 1700s, their numbers exceeded 1500, but when the Gold Rush took place, miners and ranchers stormed their location and slaughtered a huge amount of them – simply for defending their homeland
  • A man named Ishi was the last surviving members of this group – since his custom is that he would be introduced to a friend by his family, and his family were all dead, he would never reveal his true name and instead the word for man “Ishi” became his name
  • He taught people how to make professional arrowheads and bows before his death in 1916
  • Today, certain members of the Yana people still survive, but none of the Yahi

14 – Vietnamese Ruc

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  • It was during the Vietnam War, when bombs fell left and right on presumably-uncivilised regions that it scared locals natives so much that they finally stormed out of their jungle to the amazement of Vietnam soldiers
  • Because the jungle were so heavily damaged, the Ruc tribe had no choice except to join modern civilisation rather than go back to the smouldering ruin that was their home
  • It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows though – their tribe values clashed with government ideals, and hatred from both parties formed

13 – Awá-Guajá People

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  • These guys are an endangered indigenous group living in the eastern Amazon forests of Brazil
  • There only exists around 300 currently, with less than a hundred totally isolated from the outside world – but the problem is loggers continually encroach on their land, and the Brazilian government were slow to block off the area so that they’d survive, so most of their numbers were massacred including an 8 year old girl in 2011, who happened to be inside a protected area when loggers destroyed their camp
  • Theirs has been voted by Survival International as “earth’s most threatened tribe”

12 – Batak Tribe

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  • A group of people generally thought to be the first inhabitants of the Philippines were once a large, prosperous people – but today, disease brought by outsiders kill a lot of their community and government laws forbid traditional ways of farming
  • Once Survival International heard about this, they launched a campaign to give back their rights and land, to showcase what effect their laws and regulations have on the Batak
  • But today, we see less than 300 members, and since they tend not to marry other Batak members but occasionally those from another tribe, their bloodline has diluted to a point where some contest their people barely exist as a distinct entity

11 – The Pintupi

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  • Western Australia, a group of nine hunter-gatherer desert-dwelling people who survived without society until 1984 – they made contact with the relatives near Kiwirrkurra who informed them about a strange place where food was plentiful and water came out of pipes
  • They were intrigued, but one member Yari Yari returned to the desert, whereas the others would settle in Kiwirrkurra, and a few even became pseudo-celebrities for their artistic abilities

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