The Worlds Most Isolated Tribe: Alone For 60,000 Years!
On a small and remote island to the west of the South Andaman Island in the Bay of Bengal, live the worlds most isolated tribe... The Sentinelese. Unlike all other tribes living in isolation from the modern civilisation, the Sentinelese have even removed themselves from having contact with other local tribes. This has become evident from the tribes distinct differences in language to local Andaman tribe's, suggesting they have been living in complete isolation for thousands of years!
What Is The Tribes Population?
It is incredibly hard to estimate just how many members the tribe has due to their isolation, but as the island is only about the size of Manhattan, it is estimated that their numbers may range from anything between 40-400!
It is thought that the tribes people may have originated from the first descendants from Africa, and have lived on the North Sentinel island for around 60, 000 years.
Have People Tried to Contact The Tribe?
In 1967, anthropologist T. N. Pandit lead a team backed by the Indian Government to try and initiate contact with the tribe, the team left gifts and signals to try develop a relationship with the Sentinelese.
All attempts by the team to contact the tribe were un successful, with the gifts being rejected and the tribes people becoming incredibly hostile, firing arrows or throwing rocks at the scientists. Eventually, in the 1990's the Indian government made it illegal for anyone to try and contact the Sentinelese or go within a 3 mile radius of the island.
However, after the deadly Tsunami in 2004 due to concerns over the tribes safety and well-being and emergency helicopter air dropped emergency food and water supplies. The crew were met with a hail of arrows shown in the image taken below taken from the helicopter.
Illegal fishing in the region has put both the tribe and fisherman in increasing danger. In 2006, two fishermen were killed by the tribe when their boat drifted ashore during the night while they slept.
How Much Danger Are The Tribe In?
The tribe is also in ever increasing danger from exposure to modern viruses such as influenza, this is because of the tribes underdeveloped immune system resulting from years of complete isolation.
Survival International, a group dedicated to preserving un-contacted and remote tribes from the modern world, express that the Sentinelese are the most vulnerable society on the planet.
In the 1800's many other local tribes were wiped out by the colonisation of the British who brought foreign diseases which decimated the local tribes populations. This highlights the dangers associated with making contact with the tribe and why measures need to be put in place to protect them.
I hope you enjoyed reading about this fascinating tribe. I personally find the fact that these type of societies still exist in today's modern world truly fascinating, and believe we should be doing everything in our power to preserve their culture and homeland. Let me know what you think down in the comments!
If you enjoyed this, then you might like my previous posts!