In the North Sentinal Island, located in the Bay of Bengal, just between Myanmar and Indonesia there is a home of an isolated tribe that has never been colonized or even made any contact with the civilized world. These people are maybe the last tribe on Earth that their culture is completely untouched by modern civilization
The island itself belongs to India, but that’s just on paper, no one dares to visit or even approach the Sentinelese tribe. The reason is that they are so hostile and violent that anyone who has ever tried to come ashore the island was attacked and even killed.
The only contacts with the Sentinelese tribe
In 1896, a Hindu convict escaped from prison ans set out to sea only to be washed to the Sentinel island on a random raft. His body was found a few days later on a beach perforated by arrows and with his throat cut.
On August 2, 1981, a ship named Primrose got close to the island and one of the crew members noticed men on the beach who were carrying arrows and spears. The captain tried to use radio to communicate with them and ask for help as his ship was damaged. Fortunately, the crew was lucky the ship stayed away from the island by the troubled waters and was rescued by helicopter a few days later.
Just last year Survival International reported that it has received reports that fisherman are targeting the area and that one fisherman reportedly stepped foot on the island and was even close to some tribe members before he managed to leave untouched. Survival International describes the tribe ” the most vulnerable society on the planet, as they are likely to have no immunity to common diseases such as flu and measles. Due to their complete isolation, the chances of them being wiped out by an epidemic are very high ”
When the catastrophic Indian Ocean earthquake happened in 2004, the Indian government sent a helicopter to check if the Sentinelese tribe needs help or hurt. It’s interesting that the North Sentinel Island and its inhabitants were unaffected while some of the nearby islands suffered heavy damage
When the helicopter hovered over a group of tribesmen, they started throwing rocks and stones and also shot arrows at it.
On January 2006, two men were killed while fishing illegally in the area, A helicopter of the coastguard tried to retrieve their bodies but was not able to land and was forced out of the area by locals shooting a shower of arrows at it
A few other things are known about the Sentinelese tribe
It is believed they have lived on the island for 60,000 years! After so much time being isolated its no surprise they are extremely hostile to outsiders. In order to protect the tribe and prevent violence, the Indian government made it illegal to approach the island close than three miles.
We don’t know much about them and it is estimated that the tribe counts between 50 – 400 members and lives by hunting and gathering. It is difficult to observe the island from the air due to the dense tree cover. Their drive to protect themselves from the outside world is probably the reason they have survived for so long. Who knows how long they will manage to live in the middle of the ocean without having any interest in the ” civilized ” rest of the world. Perhaps being without contact with us is a good thing.