Silver 2016 Book / Documentary

The last Hunters

  • Photographer
    Domenico Pugliese

The Awá-Guajá are almost unique, as totally nomadic forest dwellers who never build a permanent hut or village. In rainy seasons they have temporary shelters of palm or banana fronds. They move constantly with their few belongings from one bivouac to another, rarely leaving the comforting sanctuary of their tropical rain forests. These Awá – which means simply “People” – live in small, highly mobile bands of a handful of families. There is nothing to be pitied about the Awá-Guajá way of life. They know exactly what they are doing. Consummate hunters and skilled gatherers, they enjoy a healthy and balanced diet of game, turtles, fish, fruit, vegetables, insects and honey. Flexible and nimble, their migrations follow a fixed pattern - based on minutely detailed knowledge of the seasons and locations of every forest product. They sling their hammocks in known campsites, beside streams of fresh water. When they defecate they plant the trees that will yield the fruits they like or attract animals, birds or grubs for them to eat. It is estimated that this hunter-gatherer tribe numbers no more than 360 individuals. I started this project to raise awareness among the public of the desperate fight for survival of the Awa-Guajá - described by Survival International as the world's most endangered tribe.