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Rare footage shows how isolated Sentinelese tribe react to contact from outsiders

Rare footage shows how isolated Sentinelese tribe react to contact from outsiders

It is illegal to visit the island where an American was killed just a few years ago

Incredible resurfaced rare footage shows peaceful contact between visitors from India and people from the 30,000-year-old Sentinelese tribe.

The ‘uncontacted’ tribe living on North Sentinel Island are particularly isolated but have had some contact over the years - although not always particularly ending well.

This video dates way back to 1991, when Trilokinath Pandit, a director of the Anthropological Survey of India, and his colleagues visited the island in the Indian Ocean on 4 January.

In the film you see the surveyors approach the island by boat as members of the tribe head on to the beach to take a look at their new visitors.

The surveyors throw coconuts towards the tribe as a form of peace offering and members of the tribe collect them from the water.

The footage is a stark contrast to other videos from the island - Survival International once posted a video showing the tribe shooting arrows towards people approaching the island and it's been confirmed that the Indian visits to the island ceased in 1997.

The tribe are totally isolated.
Survival International

The tribe are known to aggressively repel outsiders who attempt to approach the remote island.

In 2018, American John Allen Chau, 26, travelled to North Sentinel Island after reportedly paying fishermen to ferry him over.

Some Christian groups claimed the man was a missionary and had been finding a way to reach the island.

But when he got there, it’s clear members of the tribe armed with bows and arrows killed the American.

The indigenous people of North Sentinel Island are protected by law and it is illegal to go over to the island - under Indian law, you cannot enter a five nautical mile radius of the island.

The tribe killed an American a few years ago.

At the time, a spokesperson for International Christian Concern said: "We here at International Christian Concern are extremely concerned by the reports of an American missionary being murdered in India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to both John's family and friends. A full investigation must be launched in this this murder and those responsible must be brought to justice."

The tribe - thought to be made up of around 150 people - are generally left alone by the government and, due to their isolation, they are highly susceptible to disease and infection because they haven't developed immunity.

As reported by The Guardian, the Indian government has a 'hands off, eyes on', policy to the Sentinelese, meaning officials moor boasts nearby to the island every couple of months to check on their welfare.

Featured Image Credit: Survival International

Topics: US News, World News