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Most Isolated Tribe of India: Sentinals, Where nobody is allowed to go

Most Isolated Tribe of India: Sentinals, Where nobody is allowed to go

The Sentinelese are an uncontacted tribe living on North Sentinal Island, one of the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean. They vigorously reject all contact with outsiders.


The coral-fringed island, which is about the size of Manhattan and strictly off-limits to outsiders, harbors one of the planet’s most isolated hunter-gatherer societies, known as the Sentinelese. North Sentinel is part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a sprawling archipelago administered by India that stretches between India’s southern tip and the west coast of Myanmar.

Sentinelese tribesmen on North Sentinel Island, in the Andaman archipelago, fiercely resist contact by outsiders. This photograph was first published in the July 1975 issue of National Geographic.

Most of what is known about the Sentinelese has been gathered by viewing them from boats moored more than an arrows distance from the shore and a few brief periods where the Sentinelese allowed the authorities to get close enough to hand over some coconuts. Even what they call themselves is unknown.

They attracted international attention in the wake of the 2004 Asian tsunami, when a member of the tribe was photographed on a beach, firing arrows at a helicopter which was checking on their welfare.

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Whatever the reason, the Sentinelese have earned the admiration of many who see in their resistance a determination to live as they wish on a tiny patch of green surrounded by a sea of trouble.

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