Sentinelese - Most Endangered and Isolated Tribe - Seeker's Thoughts

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Sentinelese - Most Endangered and Isolated Tribe

 Sentinelese and Their protection

The Sentinelese people are from an endangered Indian tribe living in north Sentinel Island, located near the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal, India.

It is believed that there were 8,000 islanders when the British tried to colonize them in the 18th century, however, currently only 150-50 people are estimated to be alive.

Indian  laws do not allow anyone to trespass their territory as the tribe, living without vaccines, is highly prone to catch diseases.
Sentinelese are hostile to outsider
Unlike other tribe living in Andaman, the Sentinelese are known to be hostile to outsiders and no individual is allowed to go even three miles closer to the island.

       pic credit : India today
According to a BBC report, these people descendants of the first people who left Africa and have been living in isolation on the island for over 60,000 years.
Tribe does not even know how to light the fire
According to welfare of primitive Tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, this tribe does not even know how to light the fire. They survive on metalworking and agriculture.             
National geographic society visited the island in 1974 and found that these people have scavenged metals to create tools and weapons. The Sentinelese people weak their own language and there is nobody who can translate their language. It is said that the physical features of this tribe show a resemblance to the neighboring tribe Jarawa.

Several killing by Sentinelese Tribe
An American tourist was reportedly killed from bows and arrows by endangered tribe, as per the report the guy indented to preach them Christianity. Some fishermen had helped him to gain access to the islands where entry of outsiders is strictly prohibited under the Andaman microbar (protection of Aboriginal Tribes) regulations, 1956.
In 2006, two Indian fishermen, who had moored their boat near North Sentinel to sleep after poaching in the waters around the island, were killed when their boat broke loosed and drifted onto the shore. Poachers are known to fish illegally in the waters around the island, catching turtles are diving for lobsters and sea cucumbers.


The tribe has made it clear that they do not want contact. It is a wise choice. Neighboring tribes were wiped out after the British colonized their islands, and they lack immunity to common diseases like flu or measles, which would destroy their population.

How the tribe survives?
The Sentinelese hunt and gather in the forest and do fishing from the coastal waters. Unlike the neighboring Jarawa tribe, they make boats these are very narrow outrigger canoes, described as ‘too narrow to fit two feet in’ these can only be used in shallow waters as they are steered and propelled with a pole like a punt.

Sentinelese lives in three small bands. They have two different types of houses; large communal huts with several hearths for a number of families, and more temporary shelters, with no sides, which can sometimes be seen on the beach, with space for one nuclear family.

Costumes
The women wear fiber strings tied around their waists, neck and heads. The men also wear necklaces and headbands, but with a thicker waist belt. Then can carry spears, bows and arrows.

Commonly described in the media as ‘Stone Age’ this is clearly not true. There is no reason to believe the Sentinelese have been living in the same way for the tens of thousands of years they are likely to have been in the Andaman’s. 
Their ways of life will have changed and adapted many times, like all people, for instances they now use metal which has been washed up or which they have recovered from shipwrecks on the island reefs. The iron is sharpened and used to tip their arrows.
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.

Laws to Safeguard the Interests of Sentinelese Tribe
Laws promulgated for the protection of interests of Sentinelese Tribe are:
-         A&N Island (PAT) regulations 1956.
-         Scheduled under Foreigner (Restricted Area) Orders, 1963.
-         Visa Manual Conditions/passport Act 1920.
-         Indian Forest Act, 1927.
-         Wildlife (protection) Act, 1972.

Other Steps to Safeguard Their Interest
The major steps taken towards protection of their interests include:

1-      The entire North sentinel island along with 5 km coastal sea from high water mark is notified as a tribal reserve.

2-     The Sentinelese are still in isolation practicing primordial hunting and gathering way of life. The government has adopted an ‘eyes-on hands – off’ practice to protect and safeguard the Sentinelese tribe.

3-     A protocol for the circumnavigation of the North Sentinel Island has been notified the ships and aircraft of coast guard and boast of marine. Police make sorted around north sentinel to keep surveillance.

4-     The coastal sea up to a fixed extent of 1 km to 5 km abutting the tribal territory has also been notified as a tribal reserve so that marine resources like fish turtle etc are available exclusively for the particularly vulnerable tribal groups.
The Sentinelese tribe is at verge of extinction. The 2011 census estimates their numbers at a mere 50.




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