Ricardo Stuckert, a Brazilian photographer, snapped some of the most comprehensive photographs ever taken of one of the Amazon’s few remaining uncontacted tribes last month.

The pictures were taken by low-flying helicopter in western Brazil near the border with Peru, which is not where scientists believe this particular tribe was located when first spotted in 2008, prompting some to speculate about the tribe’s semi-nomadic lifestyle.

Little more is known about this protected community of natives living deep within the Amazon jungle, though as is the case with another previously uncontacted tribe discovered last year, scientists are concerned that illegal mining and poaching operations in the region could threaten their health and way of life.

The photographs taken depict a number of facets of tribal life that had previously gone unnoticed, in large part because no photographer had ever been close enough to capture the level of detail contained in the National Geographic spread. Elaborate body paint and unique hair styles set this tribe apart from many that have made contact with the developed world.

“We thought they all cut their hair in the same way,” said José Carlos Meirelles, who has studied Brazil’s indigenous tribes for more than 40 years and accompanied Stuckert on the flight. “Not true. You can see they have many different styles. Some look very punk.”

The tribe was first spotted years ago, by members of Brazil’s indigenous affairs agency, who snapped blurry photographs of tribesmen adorned in red body paint, firing arrows at their low-flying plane.  Although there is no way to confirm that this is the same tribe spotted in 2008, and again by the same organization in 2010, experts are confident that’s the case.

“These groups change locations every four years or so,” Meirelles told National Geographic. “They move around. But it’s the same group.”