TOKYO-2016 Book / Documentary

The last Hunters

  • Prize
    Silver in Book (Series Only)/Documentary
  • 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.

My name is Domenico Pugliese. I am a freelance photographer based in London and my work has appeared in many national and international magazine and newspapers. I have travelled widely around the globe, and speaking different languages. This has helped me to understand the situation and allows me to creating an image that reflects a deeper meaning. The underlying message in all of my work is the hope of progress and development within the bounds of the human spirit. And of course a celebration of the human spirit and its capability to survive.