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North Sentinel Island?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Do any of you share my fascination with North Sentinel Island? For those of you not familiar with it, it is probably the wildest, most primitive place on earth. It is part of the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean and it is almost completely unknown. The reason for this is that it is inhabited by ferocious Negritos who will kill any stranger who tries to come on the island. We have no idea how many of them there are, what they call themselves or what their language is like. They are still living in palaeolithic conditions. Some attempts to establish peaceful contacts with the natives in the '80s and '90s proved unsuccessful. After the great tsunami swept the Indian Ocean a few years ago, the Indian government sent helicopters to see if the Sentinelese survived. They had indeed and fired arrows at the helicopters. A couple of years later two Indian fisherman let their boat drift close to the shore of Sentinel Island, probably in a drunken slumber, and the Sentinelese cut their throats. They are not cannibals. They buried the dead Indians, which was discovered when the wind from the rotors of the choppers investigating the matter blew off the sand covering the shallow graves. No attempt was made to retrieve the bodies.

Negritos are small, almost pygmy-ish black people of negroid appearance who are found in isolated spots around southern Asia. Some opine that they may have been the first true humans in Asia.

Anyway, I find the existence of a such a place in the 21st century quite fascinating. There is something almost refreshing about the existence of such untamed savages in this day and age, and I just wondered if any of you were also fans of North Sentinel Island.
post #2 of 15
Sounds facinating. I think Ive heard of the island in passing, maybe a news story at some point, but little else. Are there any good reads on North Sentinel Island?
post #3 of 15
Never heard of it, but that does sound refreshing. Finally a place with no Starbucks.
post #4 of 15
Given how isolated they are now, I wonder if the British had initiated any contact with them during the colonial days. I know that the collective Andaman Islands had some sort of penal colony there, which now lies abandoned.
post #5 of 15
I wonder if these people share any close ancestry with the ones currently living in Papua New Guinea. They certainly bare physical and postural resemblance to the primitives on New Guinea, in contrast to the Asians in the region who are lighter and more cunning. I remember fondly of an acquaintance who spoke one of their dialects. He was a WW II vet who drifted on the island when his supply sub was torpedoed by a Holland I class Japanese sub during a brief skirmish. He lived on the beach for 4 months only on coconuts, dared to venture into the mainland for wild boar only during high noon, since he found out that they had a different circadian cycle than most Westerners and would sleep from the hours of 12-20 without any snoring.
post #6 of 15
Sounds like some people who would benefit from British colonialism.
post #7 of 15
Fascinating. Thanks. Do they wear spectators?
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post
Do any of you share my fascination with North Sentinel Island? For those of you not familiar with it, it is probably the wildest, most primitive place on earth. It is part of the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean and it is almost completely unknown. The reason for this is that it is inhabited by ferocious Negritos who will kill any stranger who tries to come on the island. We have no idea how many of them there are, what they call themselves or what their language is like. They are still living in palaeolithic conditions. Some attempts to establish peaceful contacts with the natives in the '80s and '90s proved unsuccessful. After the great tsunami swept the Indian Ocean a few years ago, the Indian government sent helicopters to see if the Sentinelese survived. They had indeed and fired arrows at the helicopters. A couple of years later two Indian fisherman let their boat drift close to the shore of Sentinel Island, probably in a drunken slumber, and the Sentinelese cut their throats. They are not cannibals. They buried the dead Indians, which was discovered when the wind from the rotors of the choppers investigating the matter blew off the sand covering the shallow graves. No attempt was made to retrieve the bodies. Negritos are small, almost pygmy-ish black people of negroid appearance who are found in isolated spots around southern Asia. Some opine that they may have been the first true humans in Asia. Anyway, I find the existence of a such a place in the 21st century quite fascinating. There is something almost refreshing about the existence of such untamed savages in this day and age, and I just wondered if any of you were also fans of North Sentinel Island.
I was thinking about the Sentinelese a few days ago, no kidding. Jan, remember when we had a thread on the topic of uncontacted peoples?
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Connemara View Post
I was thinking about the Sentinelese a few days ago, no kidding.

Jan, remember when we had a thread on the topic of uncontacted peoples?


I remember something about South American Indians and a hoax, if that's the one you are referring to.

Aperipan, I think the Negritos are ethnically quite distinct from the "Oceanic Negro" peoples of New Guinea, the Moluccas, the Solomons, etc., but I'll look into the matter.
post #10 of 15
hmmm...let's see - a closed primitive society where the people keep to themselves - no one goes in, no one comes out. I think we have some similar areas in deep West Texas.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post
I remember something about South American Indians and a hoax, if that's the one you are referring to.

Aperipan, I think the Negritos are ethnically quite distinct from the "Oceanic Negro" peoples of New Guinea, the Moluccas, the Solomons, etc., but I'll look into the matter.

Depends on your definition of "distinct". They are from the same group of diasporal Africans, but over time have geneticially diversified quite a bit. The book "Before the Dawn" (GREAT read by the way) has a pretty cool part about them.
post #12 of 15
I checked and was surprised to find that no one from either Polos Bastards or the Black Flag Cafe had been there. What is RYP getting paid for anyway?
post #13 of 15

You will find some interesting articles on North Sentinel Island as well as information about a air rescue operation in 1981 of a ship's crew from the Primrose which ran aground on the ref of that dangerous island. They came into direct contact with the natives, and their very lives were at risk.

 

http://www.eternalidol.com/?cat=45

post #14 of 15

Ever read the Sherlock Holmes story entitled The Sign of Four, Jan? A Sentinalese (called an Andaman Islander) plays a role.

 

~ H

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntsman View Post

Ever read the Sherlock Holmes story entitled The Sign of Four, Jan? A Sentinalese (called an Andaman Islander) plays a role.

~ H

Oh, of course. Wasn't his name Tonga? (I'm too lazy to go downstairs to check my Holmes books.) His footprint inspired Watson to say, "Holmes, a child has done this horrid thing!" That was always a favorite quote of my uncle, for some odd reason. Since Tonga was befriended by the convicts, he would have been an Andaman Islander, but not a Sentinelese. (I mean all Sentinelese are Andaman Islanders, but not all Andaman Islanders are Sentinelese.)

Not too long ago, some of the wild Andaman Islanders were tamed sufficiently so that tourists could drive their cars through their villages, but under no circumstances were they to exit their cars, much like the former "Lion Country Safari" and similar theme parks with dangerous wild animals.
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