Lost Tribe On Small Island In The Indian Ocean remain virtually untouched by modern civilization

14 Jun 2013 by Seeker in Planet Earth

Anything and everything anytime

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. Their language remains unclassiied.




The present population of the Sentinelese is not known with any great degree of accuracy. Estimates have been produced ranging from lower than 40, through a median of around 250, and up to a maximum of 500. In the year 2001, the Census of India officials recorded 39 individuals (21 males and 18 females); however, out of necessity this survey was conducted from a distance and almost certainly does not represent an accurate figure for the population who range over the 72 km2 (17,800 acres) island. Any medium- or long-term impact on the Sentinelese population arising from the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and resulting tsunami remains unknown, other than the confirmation obtained that they had survived the immediate aftermath.

On previous visits, groups of some 20–40 individuals were encountered regularly. Habitations of 40–60 individuals were found on two occasions. As some individuals are almost certainly hiding, a better approximation of group size cannot be determined. This would suggest that some 2–6 groups occupy the island. The rule of thumb population density of 1.5 km2 (370 acres)/individuals in comparable hunter-gatherer societies indicates that one such group could live off the land alone. A significant amount of food is derived from the sea. It seems that the groups encountered, at any one time, could only have come from a rather small part of the island. There appear to be slightly more males than females. At any given time, about half of the couples seemed to have dependent children or the women were pregnant.

North Sentinel Island

The Sentinelese and other indigenous Andamanese peoples are frequently described as negritos, a term which has been applied to various widely separated peoples in Southeast Asia, such as the Semang of the Malay archipelago and the Aeta of the Philippines, as well as to other peoples as far afield as Australia (notably former populations of Tasmania). The defining characteristics of these “negrito” peoples (who are not a monophyletic group) include a comparatively short stature, dark skin and “peppercorn” hair, qualities also found commonly across the continent of Africa. No close contacts have been established, but the author Heinrich Harrer described one man as being 1.6 m (5′ 4″) tall and apparently left handed.

Negrito people of the Andaman Islands


From 1967 onwards, the Indian authorities in Port Blair embarked on a limited programme of attempts at contacting the Sentinelese, under the management of the Director of Tribal Welfare and anthropologist T. N. Pandit. These “Contact Expeditions” consisted of a series of planned visits which would progressively leave “gifts”, such as coconuts, on the shores, in an attempt to coax the Sentinelese from their hostile reception of outsiders. For a while, these seemed to have some limited success; however, the programme was discontinued in the late 1990s following a series of hostile encounters resulting in several deaths.

In 2006, Sentinelese archers killed two fishermen who were fishing illegally within range of the island. The archers later drove off, with a hail of arrows, the helicopter that was sent to retrieve the bodies.  To this date, the bodies remain unrecovered, although the downdraught from the helicopter’s rotors at the time exposed the two fishermen’s corpses, which had been buried in shallow graves by the Sentinelese.

On 2 August 1981, the ship Primrose grounded on the North Sentinel Island reef. A few days later, crewmen on the immobile vessel observed that small black men were carrying spears and arrows and building boats on the beach. The captain of the Primrose radioed for an urgent airdrop of firearms so the crew could defend themselves, but did not receive them. Heavy seas kept the islanders away from the ship. After a week, the crew were rescued by a helicopter working under contract to the Indian Oil And Natural Gas Commission (ONGC).

The Sentinelese apparently survived the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and its after-effects, including the tsunami and the uplifting of the island. Three days after the event, an Indian government helicopter observed several of them, who shot arrows and threw stones at the hovering aircraft with the apparent intent of repelling it. Although the fishing grounds of the Sentinelese were disturbed, they appear to have adapted to the island’s current conditions.

Amazing that in 2013 there is still a tribe that has had virtually no contact with the outside world.  To resist contact in such a vigilant way.  Reminds me of the scene from Mutiny On The Bounty with Anthony Hopkins.






  • Olivier Blaise

    I am glad that you like my Jarawa photos but you have to understand that using my work without my permission
    is a copyright infringement. Please withdraw my image from this website, thank you. Olivier Blaise

  • T. Kelly

    Those people must be warned some kind of way! They need to Kill at the mere SIGHT of a White Man! Put him to Death and Burn the ship he Sailed on! Don’t shake Hands with them, don’t trade with them, don’t let them return, don’t invite them back, in fact don’t even let them leave if they show up. KILL THEM ALL AND DESTROY AND SINK THEIR SHIP! WARN THEM THAT THE WHITE MAN IS THE DEVIL!

    • TrueTalk
      • Duende Brooks

        what does that make you?

      • Duende Brooks

        a bunch of culture thieves.

    • Duende Brooks

      Yes because the next thing you know white people will the aborigines there and they will mess everything up. Look at America they claiming to be Indians and have the original people claiming to be African Americans , We when the so called ‘African American” are the real Indians.

      • KA

        That black girl is brown not copper. lol Look at a new penny for a copper color and not a dirty brown one.

  • Duende Brooks

    who said they were lost.

    • Saitoh

      That was my question. For lost people they don’t seem to be in a hurry to leave.

  • Duende Brooks

    for the record the Aboriginal Americans who is misnomer African American and told that theiur story came from Africa when we have been in the America with ancient blood lines not from Africa

  • Duende Brooks

    I mean they just had to put the word Africa in there somewhere. People are just trying to Africanize the world.

    • sgayle

      What would you like to call and classify them as? Dumb-dumb idiot.

      • Duende Brooks

        goof troop, being dark skin doesnt make you African, clown

  • Duende Brooks

    nw lets use our common sense, if every you go and the indigenous people look those people then what makes America? White lies and paper genocide. Africa American aren’t from Africa they are from America.

  • Ralphrepo

    For islanders supposedly deadly and hostile to outsiders; that’s a really nice picture of them to lead into the story. My, oh my… don’t they look fierce and dangerous, sitting there like that? LOL…

  • Piankhi

    But as Europeans and other races seem to think, that the life other races live if primitive if not on their standards. This the reason the world has been put in chaos, as to the HIS-STORY off oppressors and invaders. Many the European invasions of most of the world. Western standards as we see are death to all the adapt it. Eventually disappearing, Rome in it modern day fall.