Filmmaker shares moment uncontacted tribe see white people for the first time and look like they've seen ghosts

Daisy Phillipson

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Filmmaker shares moment uncontacted tribe see white people for the first time and look like they've seen ghosts

Featured Image Credit: Reddit

Rare footage has emerged claiming to show the moment a filmmaker and his crew met with a previously uncontacted tribe.

Back in 1993, Belgian author and director Jean-Pierre Dutilleux released footage for what he claimed to be the first ever encounter caught on film with members of the Toulambi tribe in Papua New Guinea.

It was also alleged that this was the first time the group had seen white people.

The footage reflects this, with the tribe gathering around and touching Dutilleux's skin in awe and apprehension.

Eventually the filmmaker earns their trust and he shakes hands with one of the group after gifting him with a box of matches.

You can watch below:

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The video was recently shared on Reddit where the poster claimed that the tribe thought the camera crew were 'ghosts'.

Thousands of people have commented on the encounter, but while some found it fascinating, others were quick to point out the allegations that the tape is a fake.

As said by one: "This charming video is a fake. The white man you see in the video is Belgian filmmaker Jean-Pierre Dutilleux.

"The Papua New Guinea natives are members of the Toulambi tribe. This fake 'first encounter' between the natives and a white skinned visitor was filmed around 1993.

"Before then, these excellent 'actors' had already met with at least three ethnologists: Pierre Lemonnier in 1985, Jadran Mimica in 1979 and Pascale Bonnemère in 1987.

"Anthropologist Pierre Lemonnier who denounced this documentary as fraud in an article for the French Newspaper Liberation, studied the Papuans of the district of Marawaka for over a decade and says that the supposedly 'unknown tribe' lives less then four days away by foot from an administrative center with teachers, a landing strip, a radio, nurses and of course a preacher (it's important for the natives to know that they’re going to hell).

"They also use the Vailala River to travel to the coast to exchange handmade tableware made out of tree back for modern tools."

Lemonnier was quoted as describing the production as 'untruthful, racist, revolting'.

Pierre Lemonnier said the footage was 'untrustworthy'. Credit: Creative Commons
Pierre Lemonnier said the footage was 'untrustworthy'. Credit: Creative Commons

The anthropologist later said he was sued for slander in a 2004 paper in which he wrote: "In the case of the ‘Toulambi’, which I discuss at some length here, this has resulted in my being attacked by journalists and being summoned to a legal court to provide ‘proof’ of the absence of any unknown tribal group in a region where Jean-Luc Lory of the [CNRS] and I were doing research amongst communities more than 20 years ago."

As for whether the film was faked or not, it remains unclear, although historical records appear to support that it had been – or at least, the Toulambi tribe had been contacted before.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Topics: Features, News, Documentaries, Film and TV

Daisy Phillipson
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