Science: Jungle Boys

To the oil companies of northwestern Colombia, the Motilon Indians of the jungle-tangled mountains are an industrial hazard. The Motilones (mo-tee-loan-es) ambush trucks, shoot 6-ft. arrows through the oilmen's tents—and sometimes through the oilmen. What is worse, they give the oilworkers' union a hard-to-answer argument for extra hazard pay.

But ethnologists cherish the Motilones as an unexploited treasure. They are one of the few remaining Indian groups in South America untouched by the white man's influence. Airplanes fly over their country and photograph their clearings, but that is about as close as anyone gets to the Motilones. Attempts to conciliate them, or...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!