The Sentinelese Tribe: This Isolated Tribe Kill Anyone Approaching Their Island

By | October 9, 2016

Located far into the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean, North Sentinel Island is one of the most isolated places on earth.

This outcast paradise, removed from all civilization, is surrounded by more mystery than any science fiction film.


Very little is known about the Sentinelese people, their language, their rituals and the island they call home.

When they do interact with outsiders, it usually involves violence – the indigenous Sentinelese tribe made headlines in 2006 after the tribe murdered two fishermen who had illegally approached the island. After the incident, a 3-mile zone has been imposed around the island, and the Sentinelese have since kept a low profile.

It is too dangerous to approach them due to their hostility to outsiders. This means they are rarely photographed up close and almost never seen on video. Most of the photos and video clips that do exist are of poor quality.

A shipwreck resulting from a clash with the tribe can be seen from Google Maps

Sentinelese people wear no clothes, but wear leaves, fiber strings or similar material as decorations. Headbands made from vines appear to be fashionable items among men. There are no signs of agriculture on the island. Although most of their tools and weapons are made from stone and animal bones, the tribe seems to make use of metal fragments that end up washed on their shore.

This aerial image shows the dense tree canopy on the island, which has remained untouched by modern civilisation for centuries.

In the 1980s and early 1990s many Sentinelese were killed in skirmishes with armed salvage operators who visited the island after a shipwreck. Since then the tribesmen have remained virtually undisturbed.

DNA analysis of another tribe, the Jarawa, whose members made first contact with the outside world in 1997, suggest that the tribesmen migrated from Africa around 60,000 years ago.

It’s still unclear what impact the 2004 tsunami had on the population and the island, which is part of India’s chain of Andaman Islands, although the uncontacted tribe managed to avoid being wiped out. After the tsunami one member was photographed attempting to fire an arrow at an Indian Coast Guard helicopter.

H/T Niume