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On June 7 1971 an exploration team led by Secretary Manuel Elizalde Jr was able to make an initial contact with an unknown Filipino people who inhabit a vast forested area in the rugged mountainous interior of South Cotabato province in Mindanao Philippines The discovery of these people is of great scientific interest particularly to the studies of mans cultural and technological development for they are food gatherers whose own technology is still based upon the use of stone tools Among the most fascinating discoveries about the Tasaday was that they still used stone tools demonstrating their isolation But are they real Or are they a brilliantly sinister scheme by then Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and Sec Manuel Elizalde Jr to gain fame and still timber and gold worth billions Manuel Elizalde Jrwas a wealthy Harvard educated Filipino who perpetrated what may have been one of the biggest anthropological hoaxes in history In 1971 Elizalde introduced the world to a tiny group of peace-loving stone age food gatherers isolated hundreds of years in a Philippine rainforest that he claimed had no contact with Westerners Elizalde made contact with the Tasaday through a tribal frontiersman named Dafal who reportedly had met them many years earlier on a hunting foray with his father into the deep interior of the forest The forest was generally avoided by most tribes people who believed it was the domain of evil spirits and savage beasts Dafal eventually brought the Tasaday bits of metal and cloth in return for a choice forest vine and for helping watch his traps Based on few hours of observations and working with interpreters anthropologists concluded that the Tasaday are a real people who have been isolated geographically and culturally for around 2000 years Though translators from nearby tribes who understood some of their unusual dialect the
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