The Lie Files

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the modern stone-age family
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FAILED FAIRY TALE!
Fifteen years after the great "discovery," the Tasaday hoax started unraveling. Here's the truth behind the pleasant myth.


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Telling tales
Members of the Stone Age tribe called the Tasaday recently discovered in the Philippines are most noteworthy for what they lack: cloth, metal, agriculture, trade goods, and contact with outsiders. mapThe finding of the tiny 26-member cave-dwelling group offers a vital view into the era before metal tools and agriculture put humans on the road to modernity.

Immune to modern culture, the Tasaday hid deep in the forest, a three-hour walk from the nearest village. Judging from their culture, the Stone Age was a mellow age. The tribe's go-along-to-get-along style is best summed up by the title of the best-selling 1975 book, "The Gentle Tasaday: A Stone Age People in the Philippine Rain Forest." Could the Tasaday's ability to resolve disputes without violence signify an innate human peacemaking ability?

As anthropologists and reporters began flocking to the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines like crows to roadkill, the government moved to protect the Tasaday from contamination by creating a reserve for them in the early 1970s.

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The Why Files
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