The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon's Last Uncontacted Tribes
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
THE UNCONQUERED TELLS THE EXTRAORDINARY TRUE STORY OF A JOURNEY INTO THE DEEPEST RECESSES OF THE AMAZON TO TRACK ONE OF THE PLANET’S LAST UNCONTACTED IN DIGENOUS TRIBES.
Even today there remain tribes in the far reaches of the Amazon rainforest that have avoided contact with modern civilization. Deliberately hiding from the outside world, they are the unconquered, the last survivors of an ancient culture that predates the arrival of Columbus in the New World. In this gripping first-person account of adventure and survival, author Scott Wallace chronicles an expedition into the Amazon’s uncharted depths, discovering the rainforest’s secrets while moving ever closer to a possible encounter with one such tribe—the mysterious flecheiros, or “People of the Arrow,” seldom-glimpsed warriors known to repulse all intruders with showers of deadly arrows. On assignment for National Geographic, Wallace joins Brazilian explorer Sydney Possuelo at the head of a thirty-four-man team that ventures deep into the unknown in search of the tribe. Possuelo’s mission is to protect the Arrow People. But the information he needs to do so can only be gleaned by entering a world of permanent twilight beneath the forest canopy.
Danger lurks at every step as the expedition seeks out the Arrow People even while trying to avoid them. Along the way, Wallace uncovers clues as to who the Arrow People might be, how they have managed to endure as one of the last unconquered tribes, and why so much about them must remain shrouded in mystery if they are to survive. Laced with lessons from anthropology and the Amazon’s own convulsed history, and boasting a Conradian cast of unforgettable characters—all driven by a passion to preserve the wild, but also wracked by fear, suspicion, and the desperate need to make it home alive—The Unconquered reveals this critical battleground in the fight to save the planet as it has rarely been seen, wrapped in a page-turning tale of adventure.
From the Hardcover edition.
at the end of the rainy season, to launch the expedition,” Nicolas hollered from the bow. “The water is still high enough to get a long ways upriver in the boats, but it will be going down by the time we start hiking over land.” Francisco nodded. “The rains are much less frequent now. Winter is over.” There are two seasons in the Amazon: the dry season, which people call “summer,” even though it’s technically winter in the Southern Hemisphere; and the rainy season, running from December to June,
of the Arrow People, once and for all. Clouds gathered in fantastical shapes over the river and brought relief from the searing sunlight. After weeks of forest gloom, my skin had been drained of all pigmentation. In the jungle, I buttoned sleeves and neck to protect myself from insects; now I did so to shield my pasty skin from blistering burns. In anticipation of this eventuality, I’d packed a single bottle of sunblock, which I now applied to exposed outcroppings—nose, ears, backs of the
the year before. The motives remained unclear, but one of the Indians had recently died of malaria, and the group may have blamed the FUNAI agents for the death. True to Rondon’s dictum, Possuelo never even considered retaliation, or prosecution. The Korubo were exempt anyway; they were considered “unacculturated” wards of the state, and the killing took place on their own land. “He bore them no resentment,” Antonio Carlos said. “But it affected him for a long time. He kept to himself.” Along the
call to FUNAI in Tabatinga. He advised that we might require an airdrop at some unspecified date and indeterminate location, depending on “how plentiful the game is, how difficult the terrain.” He’d be in touch by radio when the time came. A few minutes later, the villagers all huddled around Possuelo in rapt attention as he bade farewell in true Sydney Possuelo fashion. He was putting on a mock newscast from some future date, clutching an imaginary microphone, spoofing the caged, earnest tone
portrayed them as stooges of nefarious foreign interests seeking to keep Brazil mired in the Dark Ages. Whatever the sources of funding for the GPS, it could do nothing to ease the burden of the trek. The whites seemed to be taking it especially hard, starting to exchange dark, sidelong glances, grumbling under their breath. “It’s not fair,” Raimundo said, “that I’m hauling this heavy fucking load and opening the trail, too.” He was half whispering, as though he hadn’t decided if he was just