Being the Last Man Standing

Quite improbably, there is a man living alone in the Amazon jungle. He’s thought to be in his 50’s. He is the last surviving member of an indigenous tribe whose other members were killed in the 1990’s, perhaps by ranchers.

That means he’s lived alone and been self-sufficient for twenty or more years. It’s a long time. The government helps him indirectly, by leaving seeds and tools where he can find them, and by trying to keep loggers and ranchers and drug dealers who might harm him away. The man shows no desire to make contact with other people — he fired an arrow at a representative from the National Indian Foundation who tried reaching out to him.

The government of Brazil sees the man as a symbol of “resistance and resilience”, and believes he has a right to live out his life in his chosen way.

I’m a pretty introverted person, but I’d have a really hard time living entirely by myself in any environment, much less a jungle. I can barely imagine what this man has survived, using only what is available around him. I wonder if he ever had a partner, or children, or whether he misses the others from his tribe. If he does, he shows no signs of giving up on life.

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