you learn something new every day

Read about the Sentinelese people of North Sentinel Island recently:

The Sentinelese (also Sentineli, Senteneli, Sentenelese, North Sentinel Islanders) are one of the Andamanese indigenous peoples and one of the most uncontacted peoples of the Andaman Islands, located in India in the Bay of Bengal. They inhabit North Sentinel Island which lies westward off the southern tip of the Great Andaman archipelago. They are noted for vigorously resisting attempts at contact by outsiders. The Sentinelese maintain an essentially hunter-gatherer society subsisting through hunting, fishing, and collecting wild plants; there is no evidence of either agricultural practices or methods of producing fire.

from here

Little is known about the Sentinelese despite outsiders carrying out expeditions to their island throughout history. (You can read a very absorbing article on these expeditions here.) The rest of the world calls them the ‘Sentinelese’, but nobody knows what they call themselves. Presumably this situation suits them perfectly fine as they are often hostile to outsiders, greeting them with hails of arrows!

A rare friendly encounter with the Sentinelese. I read that they love the coconuts which outsiders bring as gifts. Apparently, coconuts do not grow on their island.

Officially, North Sentinel Island been administered by India as part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory since 1947. However, Indian expeditions stopped in 1997.

The Sentinelese survived the survived 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and its after-effects, including the tsunami and the uplifting of their island. More recently, in 2006, they killed two Indian fishermen whose boat accidentally drifted to their island.

The Indian government has decided to leave them well alone for now, but how long more before they get pulled into the 21st century?


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