The last Brazilian indigenous man called “the loneliest man in the world” has died after spending almost three decades in complete isolation.
The man, also known as the “man from the hole”, lived in total isolation for 26 years in the indigenous land of Tanaroo, deep in the Brazilian state of Rondônia. The man was nicknamed him for his habit of digging deep holes, some of which were used to trap animals and others, presumably, for hiding.
The man avoided contact with the outside world, although local authorities continued to watch him from afar, sometimes leaving provisions for him.
The last person died, for whom words like television, iPhone or Internet meant nothing.
Survival International said the rest of his tribe was decimated by attacks in the 1970s, mostly by herders and land grabbers.
“No one outside knew this man’s name, not even his tribe, and with his death the genocide of his people ended,” said Fiona Watson, director of research and advocacy at Survival International. “Because it really was genocide: the deliberate destruction of an entire people by herdsmen hungry for land and wealth.”
On August 23, employees of the Brazilian Indigenous Agency Funai discovered the body of a man lying in a hammock in a cabin. It is believed that he was 60 years old.
Eyewitnesses found no signs of struggle, violence, or the presence of other people. Funai said that she died of natural causes and that her body will undergo a forensic examination by the federal police.
Survival International said his abandoned camps left traces of his life, where he planted crops, including maize and papaya, and built thatched houses.