The Sentinelese people ( also called the Sentinel & Senteneli, the Sentinelese or the North Sentinel Islanders ) are an indigenous people of the Andaman Islands, in the Bay of Bengal in India. They inhabit North Sentinel Island, which lies westward off the tip of Great Andaman Archipelago.
The Sentinelese maintain an essentially hunter-gatherer society subsisting through hunting, fishing, and collecting wild plants.There is no evidence of agricultural practices or methods of producing fire.
Their language remains unclassified and is not mutually intelligible with the Jarawa language of their nearest neighbors. The Sentinelese are designated as a Scheduled Tribe.
From experience, and knowledge of others, it seems they have never had contact with any other people to this day.From monitoring their activities for many years, it seems they are so primitive they haven’t even discovered fire. They wait till a storm, and lightning striking, to start fires.
Their existence has been known since the 1800’s by a British Expedition.
Their weaponry consists of javelins and flatbows with high accuracy against humans up to 33ft away. At least 3 varieties of arrows are used, apparently for fishing, hunting, and untipped ones for warning shots.
Known tools include adzes, pounding and smithing stones, and various finely or coarsely woven baskets for small-grained or larger foods. Fires are most likely maintained as embers inside dwellings, possibly assisted by resin torches.
Fishing nets exist and basic outrigger canoes used for fishing, and collecting shellfish from the lagoon, but not for open-sea excursions.
Food consists of primarily of plants gathered in the forest, coconuts, which are frequently found on the beaches as flotsam, pigs, and presumably other wildlife. Wild honey is known to be collected and the Sentinelese use a kind rake to pull down branches to gather fruit or nuts.
These people are fierce to say the least. Once a fishing boat was just offshore of their tribe, with 2 fisherman whom were passed out from being heavily intoxicated, the boat ran ashore eventually, and the 2 men were killed by the Sentinelese. A search team out of India was dispatched in search of the men, which they could clearly see from above, they attempted to land to retrieve the men, and were met with a flurry of arrows, forcing them to abandon the recovery.
All other attempts of communication are only followed by hostility. They also have their own spoken language, unknown to anyone else but themselves. The island is estimated to be over 17,000+ acres, and the average male standing at 5’3″. The number of Sentinels on the island are unknown, but around 60 have been seen at once. They estimate there are around 15-500 Sentinels.
Their island is legally a part of, and, administered by the Indian Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. In practice however, the Sentinels exercise complete autonomy over their affairs and the involvement of the Indian Authority are restricted to occasional monitoring, even more infrequent and brief visits, and generally discouraging any access or approaches to the island.
The possibility of future contact, whether violent or non-violent ( armed or unarmed ) has been discussed by various organizations and nations.