'Unknown' tribe found in Amazon


A previously undiscovered tribe of Indians has been located in a remote Amazon region, Brazilian authorities said today.

The Metyktire tribe, estimated to have about 87 members, was located in an area of thick jungle and few rivers some 1,200 miles north-west of Rio de Janeiro, a spokesman for Brazil's Federal Indian Bureau (Funai) said.

The tribe is a sub-group of the Kayapo tribe, which officially inhabits the 12.1 million acre Menkregnoti Indian reservation, where the Metyktire were located, the spokesman said.

He said Kayapo Indians had been aware of the sub group's presence on the large reservation, regarding them as "wild Indians" but had no real contact with them until last week when two tribe members inexplicably appeared at Kayapo village.

"We don't know why they decided to make contact now. If they were in trouble or what happened only time will tell; this is a very slow process," the spokesman added.

Typically, uncontacted tribes are discovered as loggers and rancher encroach on their territory which was not the case here.