The last member of an uncontacted Amazon tribe in Brazil has died.
Known as “The Man of the Hole,” the indigenous man had lived in isolation in Brazil’s Rondonia state for 26 years, according to the non-profit organisation Survival International.
The man, who was thought to be around 60 years old, was given the moniker for his habit of digging deep holes to trap animals or hide in.
An official from Brazil’s indigenous protection agency, FUNAI, found his dead body in a hammock outside his straw hut on Tuesday.
There were no signs of struggle or violence.
FUNAI said the man died of natural causes and his body will undergo a forensic examination by the federal police.
The rest of his tribe had been killed in a series of attacks from the 1970s onwards, mainly carried out by cattle ranchers who wanted to expand their land.
Fiona Watson, research and advocacy director at Survival International, commented on the news of his death: “No outsider knew this man’s name, or even very much about his tribe – and with his death the genocide of his people is complete.
“For this was indeed a genocide – the deliberate wiping out of an entire people by cattle ranchers hungry for land and wealth.”
She added: “He symbolised both the appalling violence and cruelty inflicted on indigenous peoples worldwide in the name of colonisation and profit, but also their resistance.
“We can only imagine what horrors he had witnessed in his life, and the loneliness of his existence after the rest of his tribe were killed, but he determinedly resisted all attempts at contact, and made clear he just wanted to be left alone.”
Footage of the unknown man taken showing him hacking away at a tree with an axe was released by FUNAI in 2018.
Survival International said his abandoned campsites showed he planted crops such as corn, papaya and bananas and made his houses of straw and thatch.