Man of the Hole (also known as "Indian of the Hole", Portuguese: índio do buraco) is a nickname used by officials and the media to describe a man who is indigenous to Brazil and lives alone in the Amazon rainforest. He is believed to be the last surviving member of his tribe. It is unknown what language he speaks or what his tribe was called.
The Man of the Hole's nickname derives from the deep hole found in each home that he has abandoned. It was originally believed that these holes were used to trap animals or for him to hide in, but some observers have also speculated that they might have been of spiritual significance to his old tribe. The holes are narrow and over 6 feet (1.8 meters) deep.
He has also been referred to as:
- the indigenous man in the hole
- the Man in the Hole
- the Last of his Tribe
- the Loneliest Man on Earth
- the lone survivor
Other people first became aware of the Man of the Hole's isolated existence in 1996. The rest of his tribe was probably killed in a number of clashes with ranchers and loggers in the 1980s and 1990s, with one expert explaining that "he should not be seen as a recluse hiding from society. The man is the survivor of a genocide. He didn't choose to live alone." In 2007, the Brazilian government's Fundação Nacional do Índio (FUNAI) "declared a 31-square-mile [8,029 hectare] area around him off-limits to trespassing and development." His territory was later expanded by 11.5 square miles (3,000 hectares). Brazil's constitution, ratified in 1988, had already granted indigenous people rights to lands they had traditionally inhabited. Since the reserve's establishment, FUNAI has monitored him and tried to prevent intrusions into his area. Despite this, the Man of the Hole was attacked by gunmen in 2009 but managed to survive.
Though he has avoided further direct contact with others, the Man of the Hole is aware that he is monitored by FUNAI. The agency occasionally left gifts of tools and seeds for him, and thus "engendered a certain level of trust". He sometimes signals to observing teams to avoid pitfalls he dug either as defense or to trap animals. In 2018, FUNAI released a video of him in order to raise global awareness of the threats to the uncontacted peoples in Brazil. In the video, the man, now believed to be in his 50s, appeared to be in good health.
- Uncontacted peoples
- Genocide of indigenous peoples in Brazil
- Ishi, the last of his tribe in North America
- Scott Wallace (31 August 2018). "Why Revealing Uncontacted Tribes May Help Save Them". National Geographic. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
- The last of his tribe by Fiona Watson; survivalinternational.org
- 6 Isolated Groups Who Had No Idea That Civilization Existed by C. Coville; 17 August 2012; cracked.com
- Man in the Hole: lone survivor of Amazon tribe hunted by Brazilian ranchers; 11 December 2009; telegraph.co.uk
- The Most Isolated Man on the Planet by Monte Reel; 2010; slate.com
- Phillips, Dom (19 July 2018). "Footage of sole survivor of Amazon tribe emerges". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
- Amazon's 'man of the hole' attacked by unknown gunmen by Rory Carroll; 9 December 2009; theguardian.com
- "'Man in the Hole', lone survivor of Amazon tribe massacre, escapes ranchers' bullets". Amazon Rainforest News. December 11, 2009. Archived from the original on March 18, 2017.
- Amazon's 'man of the hole' attacked by unknown gunmen; 10 December 2009; indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com