How should civilization respond to “Primitive” Societies?


I read an article concerning the problem how we ought to respond to so called endangered cultures. These are societies that have not yet integrated to global human civilization. The practice now is to leave them be and prohibit interaction. Unfortunately these people are often in conflict with farmers, loggers, and others that encroach on their territory. The article argues that pressure on their environment is slowly shrinking their territories below that needed for long-term survival. An argument presented I. The article is that exchange between people is natural and regulated interaction may be better for preserving these cultures that complete abstention.

Comments on the article frequently expressed the opinion that enforced isolation was tantamount to keeping humans in a zoo. I have to counter though that before the current program, contact with isolated peoples were almost always a disaster. Contact spread disease to natives who never needed immunities. Culture clash, disruption of the economy, and inability to comprehend the goals and values of civilized societies led to war and dependence.

As a student of ancient and primitive societies and their religions, these isolated people are a valuable source of pure primitive mythology and ritual. I hope that these might be preserved long enough to at least be properly documeted. On the other hand I have to rember that these are people like me that want to survive, prosper  and evolve and not just serve as a specimen or artifact.