The 1-minute video appears to show a man holding what looks like a machete, who at one point seems to look directly at the camera.
Then another figure can be seen briefly, carrying what might be a bow and arrows, before the pair run off through dense vegetation.
The footage was filmed in Maranhao state, eastern Brazil, by a neighboring tribe called the Guajajara, who work to protect the rainforest where the Awá live.
It was released by Midia India, a collective of indigenous filmmakers, as part of efforts to protect the forest from economic interests.
Logging camps have been seen near uncontacted Awá people, and Erisvan Guajajara of Mídia Índia believes the footage could help to save the tribe from attacks.
“We didn’t have the Awá’s permission to film, but we know that it’s important to use these images because if we don’t show them around the world, the Awá will be killed by loggers,” said Guajajara.
“We’re using these images as a cry for help and we’re calling for the government to protect the lives of our relatives who don’t want contact with outsiders.”
The Awá are some of the most threatened uncontacted Indians in the world, according to a press release from NGO Survival International, a nongovernmental organization that works to protect tribal peoples.
While some members of the tribe have moved out of the forest, others still live in isolated groups in the remaining islands of untouched territory, according to Survival International.
Experts say loggers, farmers and miners have been emboldened by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s pro-business stance on the Amazon, taking advantage of reduced controls and less oversight to seize control of a growing area of land in the forest.
“Over the past six months, Bolsonaro and his environment minister have been devoting themselves to the dismantling of the Brazilian environmental governance and neutralizing regulatory bodies”, Carlos Rittl, executive secretary of the environment NGO network Observatorio do Clima (Climate Observatory) told CNN.
“We hope this film produces something positive,” said Flay Guajajara of Mídia Índia, who shot the footage.
“We hope it makes an impact around the world to help protect our people and our forest.”
The footage will be used in a 13-minute Mídia Índia documentary “Ka’a Zar Ukize Wá – Forest Keepers in Danger,” which will be released on July 23.
Amazon deforestation accelerated more than 60% in June compared to the same period last year, which environmentalists cite as evidence that Bolsonaro’s policies are starting to take effect.
However the issue of how to manage the forest and the indigenous peoples that live there has long been cause for debate in Brazil and on the international stage.
In August 2018 an isolated Amazon tribe with no known contact with the outside world was spotted by a drone flying over the Brazilian jungle, according to the country’s National Indian Foundation.
Footage shows several people walking through a wide clearing made in a patch of dense jungle in the Javary River valley, near the border with Peru.
And in July 2018 the dangers of making contact with isolated tribes were underlined by a measles outbreak among the Yamomami tribe, who live on the border of Venezuela and Brazil.
The outbreak put 23 tribe members in hospital and threatened hundreds more.
“Any remote indigenous people with little contact with mainstream society have low resistance to diseases that are introduced from outsiders,” said Sarah Shenker, a senior researcher at Survival International.