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Do you know that there is an Indian island where all types of entries are prohibited? The Sentinelese Island is famous for the endangered tribe that lives there. The Sentinelese are known to be the most isolated tribes in the world. They live on their own small forested island which is North Sentinel, one of the Andaman Islands in India. It is claimed that they only have a population of between 80 and 150 people. Restricting all the contact with outsiders and the outer world is what gathers the entire world’s attention to them. Even if someone manages to contact them, they believe in attacking them.
The interesting fact about the Sentinelese tribe is that they don’t even understand our language. They’re so confined in their tribe that once in November 2018, an American men John Allen Chau was killed by members of the Sentinelese Tribe just because he appeared different from their community.
In 2006, two Indian fishermen, who tied up their boat near North Sentinel to sleep after hunting in the waters around the Island were murdered when their boat moved onto the shore. Such incidents clear that they do not want any contact. Not accepting any involvement could be a better choice for them. The reason is that neighbouring tribes from islands have completely vanished after the British took their islands, and this makes them lack immunity to another common disease such as flu or measles, which would decrease their population.
How are they protected?
After observing the strange behaviour of the Sentinelese tribes, the Government issued the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Regulation, 1956 to declare the traditional areas occupied by the tribes as well as to protect them. Also, according to the act, all the entries are prohibited except for those who goes with authorisation. Even, filming and photographing the tribe members is also an offence. The rules were amended later to enhance penalties.
Are they endangered?
It is believed that during the 18th century they had a large population of up to 8,000 islanders. Thereafter, the British tried to colonise the island. Now it is claimed that only 150-50 people are estimated to live there. Due to their condition of being endangered, no individual is allowed to go even three miles closer to the island. According to a report issued by the BBC, these people are claimed to be the descendants of the first people who left Africa. Since then, they are living in isolation on the island for over 60,000 years.
How do they survive staying in the isolated islands?
Most of what is known after gathering some views from boats at a safe distance from the shore are that the Sentinelese tribes stay nearly naked, with women wearing fibre strings tied around their waists, necks and heads. It is known that these tribes have two different types of houses-large communal huts with various huts for several families, and temporary shelters, with no sides, which can be seen sometimes on the beach, with space for one single family.
The Sentinelese tribes use elementary methods to eat food. They hunt animals using bows and arrows, survive on mud crabs and seafood available on the island. According to Welfare of Primitive Tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, this isolated tribe doesn’t even know to light fire. They survive on metalworking and agriculture.
They even speak their own native language and no one can understand their language. What we can get through their actions is they don’t care much for the company, and they have made it clear even without any similar language.
What is their followed religion?
The Sentinelese tribes follow their original religions, and it is unaware to the outsiders of the island. The Nicobar are the only tribes that are known to follow mainstream religion and Christianity is the most popular religion in the Andaman and Nicobar region.
A crew from National Geographic visited in 1974
In 1974, a National Geographic film crew, some anthropologists, and a few policemen visited North Sentinel to shoot a documentary about the Andamanese, “Man in search of Man” .As the Sentinelese don’t want any approach from humans from outside the island, they started shooting arrows at the crew. Even some policemen went ashore wearing armour and left gifts of coconuts and toys, then returned to the boat. The Sentinelese continued to shoot arrows at them, hitting the film director in the thigh.
Again, when the Indian Government managed to make a contact with the tribe during the 2004 tsunami. An Indian Coast Guard flew over the island to provide help but was attacked with arrows.
The Andaman Island tribe is one of the last remaining isolated groups in the world. There are various incidents where Sentinelese tribes have been accused of killing outsiders. The chain of incidents clearly shows their non-welcoming attitude toward visitors. It is high time that the administration thinks about the policy and should take corrective measures for avoiding any kind of such incidents in near future.Add to favorites