North Sentinel Island | The Sentinelese People: They are the last known isolated tribes in the world. North Sentinel Island is one of the Islands of Andaman in the Bay of Bengal. The island belongs to the administrative district of the South Andaman, part of the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in India.
North Sentinel Island:
In the world of rapid urbanization, we assume there are no tribes left isolated without any external contact on Earth. But the people of Sentinelese who inhabit the tiny island of the North Sentinel that is part of the Islands of Andaman Group in the Bay of Bengal are the living proof to the contrary.
They rejected all types of communication with the outsiders repeatedly, and they guard their land violently when anybody wants to establish contact with them. This violent response is part of a pattern of violence that has recorded most attempts at contact by the outsiders with this tribe over the years.
Believed to number anywhere from around 50 to 400, the Sentinelese people have lived in isolation on the island for about 60,000 years, resisting attempts by officials and anthropologists to study their culture and integrate them into the new world.
Read also about the isolated “Snake Island“
And when someone wanders to their island, like it happened for two fishers on January 26, 2006, they relentlessly killed them. So protective are the Sentinelese people of their territory that an Indian coastguard helicopter which attempted to retrieve the fisher’s bodies (they had been tossed into shallow beach graves after their killing) was greeted by a series of arrows from the tribesmen that prevented the craft from landing into their territory.
But their hostile attitude towards the strangers probably saved them from extinction over the years. While the current Indian policy tries to preserve their culture, it was not always the same, and other tribes from the Islands of Andaman faced the extinction. The Great Andamanese tribes, who numbered few thousands in the 18th century, were decimated by the Crown colonialists and less than 100 of them live currently.
The Sentinelese People:
Their diet consists mainly of fish and the coconuts that can be found in the shallow waters around their seashores. Based on the collected data, they are hunter-gatherers, as the agriculture is not known to them. Their meat consists of tortoises and tiny birds found on the North Sentinel Island.
Initially thought to have been severely affected by the tsunami on Christmas 2004, it was soon exposed that the Islanders had moved to higher ground before the disaster struck – almost as if they knew the giant tide wave was coming.
Read about other People & Civilisation
Inhabitants of nearby islands were significantly affected by the dangerous tsunami, but after several high reconnaissance commissions had conducted, it is a fair assumption that there is no damage occurred to the Sentinelese.
If not for the metal-tipped arrows carved from hulls of the wrecked ships, the Sentinelese would be described as a Stone Age people. For instance, Sentinel canoes are built to fish in only shallow water.
New Delhi has voluntarily carried out little development in much of the tribal area, intending to preserve the culture of the tribe’s people and for fear that the bacterial contamination may result in their extinction. As of now, the Sentinelese people will be left to the isolation they had so zealously defended over many centuries.