60 thousand years in isolation, or why the inhabitants of a small island in the Indian Ocean do not let anyone on their land

  • Mar 15, 2021
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Why the inhabitants of a small island in the Indian Ocean do not let anyone on their land
Why the inhabitants of a small island in the Indian Ocean do not let anyone on their land

There are still many places on our planet that deserve attention and where it would be interesting to go. But this is not always possible. There is a relatively small island in the Indian Ocean - North Sentinel Island. It is inhabited, but it was not possible to study it. The tribe has been living in this area for about 60,000 years. It is hostile to strangers and does not make contact with the outside world.

1. Location of the island

North Sentinel Island is located 37 kilometers from South Andanam / Photo: obshe.net
North Sentinel Island is located 37 kilometers from South Andanam / Photo: obshe.net

The island is located 37 kilometers west of another island called South Andanam. Civilization is also not far from it, on the east side at the same distance is the city of Wondur. The coordinates of this unknown world: 11 ° 33'21.7 "N 92 ° 14'22.7" E.

Officially, the island belongs to the territories of India, but is actually cut off from the country and lives its own life / Photo: pikabu.ru
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In general, this is a small piece of land. The total area of ​​the island is 60 square kilometers. Almost the entire area is dense thickets - jungle. The height of the highest island point is 122 meters.

Sentinel Island is almost completely covered with thickets / Photo: news.myseldon.com

If we take formal data, then the land is part of the Indian union of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Since 1947 refers to India, but this is only according to the documents. In fact, North Sentinel Island is completely cut off from the rest of the world and lives its own unexplored life.

2. Local population

This place is the only home of the Sentineles tribe of the same name. These people do not contact anyone, since they rejected any connection with civilization. There are no exact data on the population and population. According to some estimates, which are approximate, the settlement took place somewhere around fifty to sixty thousand years ago.

Local tribes are aggressive towards strangers / Photo: emergenzeweb.it

In fact, the tribe is endemic. Even the slightest outside interference in the life of the island can lead to its complete extinction. These people simply lack any immunity to the diseases of our time. There is no other information either about the island itself or about its inhabitants. The fact is that they do not like strangers here, they are very hostile to them and categorically refuse any contact with them.

3. Historical background and just one contact

If you delve a little into history, then this place became known in the thirteenth century. The inhabitants of the neighboring islands named the islet Chia daaKwokweyeh.

Marco Polo's notes indicate that the people who live on it are brutal and very similar to the wild race. They are not prone to contact with anyone. At the sight of a boat sailing up to the shore, the aborigines show aggression - they begin to fire at it with bows, demonstrating the absence of the need for any communication with other people.

The passengers of the ship that crashed near Sentinel Island had to repel the attacks of the aborigines / Photo: dialog.ua

The first interaction with the rest of the world happened in 1867, and this is a recorded case. Near the coast of Sentinel Island, the ship Nineva wrecked. In total, 106 people survived, who set up their camp on the coast. But until the moment they were found and rescued, the victims had to fight for their lives several more times, repelling the attacks of the local tribe.

4. Attempts to research and study

In 1880 expedition led by M. IN. The huts of local residents were found in the jungle by Portman / Photo: nk.org.ua

For quite a long time, they tried several times to establish at least insignificant contact with the local tribe of aborigines. In 1880 expedition led by M. IN. Portman made a landing on the coast of the island. In the jungle, they found already abandoned dwellings, huts and paths. They even captured six people - an elderly man and woman and four teenagers.

Sentinelians are not able to survive outside the island / Photo: travel-dom.ru

The Aborigines were taken to Port Blair in South Andaman, but further developments did not bring results. The elderly died very quickly due to illness. It was impossible to understand what these people were talking about. Their language is completely unlike any that exists in the world. As for the teenagers, they didn’t keep them, but let them go back with gifts.

Contact with the local tribe has not been established to this day / Photo: exodif.com

They also tried to establish contact later - in 1883, 1885 and 1887. But none of the attempts were successful. The island remained closed to everyone.

Boats with researchers were shelled / Photo: news.myseldon.com

The following attempts were made by the Indian government in the last century, starting in 1967, but they did not bring results either. As soon as the boats approached the shore, a hail of arrows and stones rained down on them.

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5. First and so far only minor contact

Relatively peaceful, albeit short-lived contact with the inhabitants of the island took place in 1991 / Photo: poshepky.com

For all these years, there has been one contact, moreover, relatively peaceful. It took place in 1991. at the beginning of January. T. Pandita, who has watched the island and the islanders remotely for twenty years. He has been since 1990. on a regular basis left gifts for the natives on the shore.

On the same day, a small group of representatives of the tribe approached the boat, and one of the people even dared to get into it. It took quite a bit of time. In the future, the natives continued to be aggressive and hostile towards strangers.

Subsequently, there were other attempts to establish at least some kind of relationship with the locals, but all of them remained unsuccessful. As for the last case, it happened in 2018. It was then that D. AND. Chow, missionary from the United States. The attempt was thwarted by an arrow fired by a local resident.

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6. What is happening to the island and its tribe now

Since 1997, the Indian government has banned visits to the island / Photo: dir.md

In 1956 g. there was a document on the protection of tribes. This decree is the guarantor of their inviolability. Starting in 2005, the authorities of the Andaman Islands promised not to interfere in this isolated life anymore and stopped taking steps towards establishing any contacts with the tribe.

As for India, the government of that country imposed a ban on visits to North Sentinel Island in 1997.

Continuing the topic, read about
5 "childish" misconceptions about American Indians.
A source:
https://novate.ru/blogs/130820/55667/