ANTHROPOLOGISTS in Peru are fascinated by a tribe in the Amazon jungle who show no interest whatever in engaging with the outside world. In fact the closest the Mashco-Pico people have come to making contact with outsiders is to shoot at them with bows and arrows when they intrude on their territory.
One anthropologist, Nicolas Flores, has spent almost 20 years trying to make contact with the Mashco-Pico, and all he has to show for it is the arrow that nearly got him. Now an archaeologist named Diego Cortigo has managed to get some sneak pictures with a long lens. They don’t wear much, those Mashco-Pico. And the gals are not bad at all. However, people are beginning to get the message. The Mashco-Pico just want to be left alone. The campaign group Survival International is urging the Peruvian government to do just that – allow them to live as they wish, undisturbed in their own territory. Is this practical or is it mere romantic whimsy? Can and should a people be deprived of the benefits of 21st century civilisation – industry, pollution, high finance, Ponzi schemes, work, taxation, crooked politicians, rock music, the celebrity culture?
Can all this be kept at bay with bows and arrows? Maybe the Mashco-Pico do need a bit of modernisation. Somebody should slip them a few bazookas.
READER Prue Spencer, of Kloof, was not impressed by our picture the other day of a rhino camouflaged with zebra stripes.
“Please don’t disguise rhinos as zebra or the latter will be shot to extinction as well – just as they shoot de-horned rhinos to save themselves further wild goose chases.”
Yes, if the zebra is a donkey in a football shirt, the rhino deserves recognition of his brawn. A hooped rugby jersey is appropriate.
AN AMERICAN jury has awarded a man damages of $22 million (R170m) after he was kept in jail without trial for almost two years on an allegation of drinking and driving, plus other offences.
Stephen Slevin, 58, was arrested in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, in August 2005 and charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, aggravated driving while under the influence of alcohol, driving with a suspended licence, possession of an open container of alcohol in a vehicle and improper use of registration.
But somehow it never got to court until June 2007, when the case was dismissed. Slevin had grown a long, grey beard while in jail – and at least the hangover had gone.
A CANADIAN flight was held up for four hours when a cat named Ripples escaped from her carrier and took refuge among the cabling of the flight deck.
The Air Canada flight from Halifax to Toronto had been about to take off when a passenger accidentally opened the carrier in the overhead luggage compartment.
Ripples was out like a flash and made for the flight deck, where she got behind some panelling.
They had to switch off the engines to calm her, then just about take apart the cockpit to get to where she was hiding among the cables. Then they had to check that the cables weren’t damaged.
Flights are often delayed by the presence of geese and other large birds, but seldom by cats.
SOCIOLOGISTS in America say men make more steadfast friends than women. They give an example.
A wife failed to come home one night and next day told her husband she’d slept over with a friend. When he phoned her 10 best friends, none of them knew anything about it.
When a husband did the same thing and gave the same explanation, eight of his best friends confirmed he’d spent the night at their place and two said he was still there.
A GOLFER is taking his time teeing off. He stands over the ball; he looks up and down, he measures the distance, he figures the wind direction and speed.
His exasperated partner says: “What’s taking so long? Hit the ball!”
“My wife is up there watching from the clubhouse. I want to make this the perfect shot.”
“Give me a break! You don’t have a snowball’s chance of hitting her from here.”
Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese. – GK Chesterton