Uncontacted Amazonians


There have been a couple of stories in the news about some recent pictures of uncontacted Amazonian tribes. Here’s the story on Yahoo, and here’s the original press release.

There is a lot I could say about the issue, but since this is a barefooting blog, I will restrict myself to just commenting on their feet.

Here is the primary photo, taken from the air:

Uncontacted Amazonian Tribe

Uncontacted Amazonian Tribe

One thing I noticed, more visible in this cropped version,

Better view of their feet

Better view of their feet

is the shape of their feet. Even from the air we can easily see the natural separation of the big toe, and even pretty good separation between all the toes.

This is what natural human feet look like. This is what feet that do their natural job look like. Compare that to what feet look like after a lifetime of being stuffed into high heels, for fashion’s sake (the condition you see below is called hallux valgus):

Hallux Valgus

Hallux Valgus

Enough said.


8 Responses to “Uncontacted Amazonians”

  1. Nude_in_NZ Says:

    Are they wearing pants? Now that’s a little different from other ‘uncontacted’ tribes from years past.

  2. Barefoot Josh Says:

    I’m curious about what else you have to say on the issue…

  3. Christa aka Never teh Bride Says:

    Glad to know my wide barefoot-loving feet that can’t fit into most heels are healthy and natural – even if I wish I did have more fancy shoe options!

  4. John Says:

    @Nude_in_NZ It appears the most they have on is a loin cloth, for want of a better term. The guy who looks like he is getting ready to loose an arrow appears to be painted over most of his body.

  5. Toni Says:

    For years, I thought something was wrong with my feet because the heels were narrow in comparison with the toe area. If I got shoes that fit my heel, they would hurt my toes. If they were wide enough to fit my toe area, they were way too big in the heel. Finally, I realized that my feet were normal (because of going barefoot so much) and my mother (who had similar issues) had normal feet; the shoes were the problem. But, no way did I regret going barefoot and letting my feet grow into their natural, normal shape.

  6. Tim Says:

    Wow! Great find! It really goes to show how health barefoot living is, and what the “Modern World” is missing out on with it shoe-obsession. Thanks to a life time of barefooting, my feet seem to have avoided the damage of shoes. Gee, wonder if I somehow knew as a baby, because I never wanted to wear shoes.

  7. Nude_in_NZ Says:

    While I’m no expert, in terms of their feet, they seem to be similar to other ‘native peoples’ around the world who live in forests, hilly areas and who tree climb. In the Highlands of PNG for example.

    The gap that is noted is not readily discernible amongst the San* (Kalahari Bushmen) nor other Southern African peoples, nor those of the Serengeti. Although their feet are quite wide

    *This despite them using the gap to grip implements when fire or bow making.

    Among the Pacific Island people I’ve noticed very wide feet as well, with some having all toes seemingly splayed.

    As for myself I’m nursing the agony of a barefoot adventure to a local c/o beach to partake in last weekends “Day Without Swimsuits”. On my way there I lost my balance and fell into a 2m deep gap in some rocks, resulting in a broken wrist, painful damage to tendons in the plantar region of my left foot other severe bruising and abrasions. The up side? I can’t put shoes on….button a shirt…. and sine I work from home…..even those Amazonians are more dressed up than I am!

  8. vas Says:

    The last photo somehow reminds me of Chinese bound feet. I think the Western World’s addiction to narrow shoes and high heels is a moderate form of foot binding.

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