An Amazon tribesman who lived in total isolation for around 26 years and who was dubbed as the “loneliest man in the world” has died in Brazil, officials say.
According to The Guardian, the mysterious man was the last remaining member of an uncontacted indigenous group in Brazil. He was known as the “Man of the Hole” because he spent much of his existence hiding or sheltering in pits he dug in the ground.
Brazil’s Indigenous Affairs Agency (Funai), which monitored the man’s wellbeing from a distance, informed that the man’s body was found on August 23 in a hammock outside his straw hut. There were no signs of violence, the officials said. They also added that because he had placed brightly coloured feathers around his body, it is believed that the man prepared for his death.
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It is estimated that the man was about 60 years old. The BBC reported that he was the last of an indigenous group living in the Tanaru indigenous area in the state of Rondonia, which borders Bolivia.
Brazil’s Federal Police will now be performing an autopsy on the man’s body and produce a report on the findings.
Officials believe that the “Man of the Hole” was the only inhabitant of Tanaru territory, which is considered to be one of the most violent regions in Brazil. According to the non-profit organization Survival International, the rest of the tribe had been massacred in a series of attacks allegedly perpetrated by land-hungry cattle ranchers since the 1970s, with the last few members being exterminated in 1995.
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However, very little is known about this indigenous community because the sole survival of the massacre had resisted any attempts at contact. “He died without revealing which ethnicity he belonged to, nor the motivations of the holes he dug inside his house,” the Observatory for the Human Rights of Isolated and Recent Contact Indigenous Peoples (OPI) wrote on learning of the man’s death.
“The Man of the Hole” was last filmed by a government team in 2018 when he was seen using a sharpened tool resembling an axe to hack at a tree.