Sentinel island

Sometimes it seems that in the era of high-tech societies, there are no places left on Earth where the order of millennia ago still prevails. However, the Sentinel tribe demonstrates that this is not the case.

The Sentinalese are one of the indigenous peoples of the Andaman Islands, living on North Sentinel Island. Nominally, this territory is under the control of India.

According to researchers, this tribe has been completely isolated for approximately 60,000 years. In similar conditions, one might think that people would want to exchange cultures, but the Sentinalese are different – they do not want any contact at all.

Sentinel Island
Sentinel Island

Whenever someone landed on their territory, warriors of the tribe would kill them.

In 1974, a director from “National Geographic” attempted to land on this island, but he was shot with an arrow. He and the researchers brought many gifts with them: coconuts, kitchen utensils, and even a live pig. However, the indigenous people attacked their group. Interestingly, they took the coconuts and utensils with them, but decided to kill and bury the animal.

Another interesting incident occurred in 2004: due to a tsunami, the Indian authorities sent a helicopter to the island to help the Sentinalese, but they were not pleased – instead of a positive reception, they met the people with bows and arrows.

The tribe also drew attention in 2006 when two poachers veered off course and engaged in illegal crab hunting near the island. The aborigines didn’t like this, so they killed the men. A helicopter was sent to retrieve the bodies, but the Sentinalese greeted it in a similar manner. The bodies could not be recovered.

The last scandalous incident occurred in 2018 when, despite the ban, American tourist John Allen Chau decided to visit the island. Apparently, he was also killed. On November 14 of that year, he managed to approach the island under the guise of fishing, and the next morning he was alone on the shore.

John brought gifts for the Sentinalese – scissors, English pins, and a football. According to his notes, the initial contact was friendly, but some members of the tribe later began to behave aggressively – they shot an arrow that hit the Bible.

After this, the American returned to the fishermen and handed over his diary to them. On November 16, Chau returned to the island. The next morning, fishermen near the island saw indigenous people dragging a body along the beach and burying it in the sand. As before, the Indian authorities could not retrieve his body.

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