World's Oldest Person May Live in Amazon

Woman will turn 121 on Saturday

Aug 31, 2011
Outside Magazine

A 120-year-old indigenous Brazilian woman may be the world's oldest living person, according to human rights group Survival International. The Brazilian government discovered Maria Lucimar Pereira during a regular review of birth records. Pereira, who was born in 1890 in the Amazonian state of Acre, is a member of the Kaxinawa tribe. She will celebrate her 121st birthday on September 3, and credits her longevity to her diet, which consists of natural foods like grilled monkey, fish, manioc, and banana porridge. "All too often we witness the negative effects forced change can have on indigenous peoples," Survival International Director Steven Corry said in a statement on Thursday. "It is refreshing to see a community that has retained strong links to its ancestral land and enjoyed the undeniable benefits of this." If confirmed, Pereira would be the second-oldest person in recorded history; the oldest, Jeanne Calment of France, died in 1997 at age 122.

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Photo © INSS/Survival

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