Sentinelese – A Stone Age tribe in the modern era.

Probably the most isolated tribe in the entire world, the Sentinelese have been in the news for the wrong reasons as of late. Recently an American Missionary was killed on their island.

Who are they?

Sentinelese is a small tribe which lives in a small forested island called North Sentinele. It is a part of the group of Andaman and Nicobar islands. North Sentinele is roughly the size of Manhattan. It is believed that they have lived in the same way for the last 55,000 years!!!

They resist contact with the outside world as all costs and attack anyone who comes near their island with bows and arrows. There are estimated to be approximately 100 people in the tribe. Having no contact with the outside world makes them vulnerable to many diseases as they have no immunity from them.

What Happened?

John was just 26 years old.
John was just 26 years old.

On November 16th, an American missionary, John Allen Chau was killed by the Sentinelese people when he landed on their island. While the access to the island is restricted, John had bribed a fisherman to ferry him to the island. He intended on spreading Christianity to these people. Fishermen led him close to the island from where he continued his journey to the island alone on a kayak.

John was attacked by arrows but he continued walking. The fishermen saw the tribal people tying a rope around his neck and then dragging his body inside the island. The fishermen got scared and fled. He was probably buried in the island somewhere as there has been no whereabouts of his body.

John’s Letter to his family.

John had written a letter to his family a day before he got hit by the arrow that is on 16th November. In the letter, he had asked his family not to be mad at the people that killed him or theGod himself.

Based on this, John’s family has posted on his Instagram account that they “forgive” those who were responsible for his death. They have even requested the release of the 7 fishermen who have been arrested for breaching the provisions of the Protection of Aboriginal Tribe (Regulation), 1956 and causing the death of John.  

What’s Next?

A Sentinelese boy attacking at the helicopter which had come to help them.
A Sentinelese boy attacking at the helicopter which had come to help them.

No one knows what the reason is for this hostile behavior. All attempts to contact them in the past have met with similar attacks from them. The last attempt to contact them was during the aftermath of the Tsunami in 2004. 2 helicopters were sent to check if Sentineles needed any help, however, they responded by firing arrows at the helicopter. Notably, Sentineles are the only people who survived this vicious natural calamity without any help from the outside world.

In 2006, two Indian fishermen were killed by the Sentineles people when their boat drifted onto the shore of the island when they wereasleep.

The tribe has made it clear that they want no contact with the outside world. It is in the best interest of both, the tribe as well as outside world that they are left alone.

2 thoughts on “Sentinelese – A Stone Age tribe in the modern era.

  • 29th November 2018 at 9:30 pm

    Strange to know tht ppl like them still exists…!

    • 29th November 2018 at 11:12 pm

      And to think of more than half the world doesn’t even know about these tribes.


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