Who are the Sentinelese in Andaman island?


  • The Sentinelese tribe live in isolation in the North Sentinel Island of Andaman and Nicobar and are one of the last tribes that remain disconnected with the outside world.
  • While little remains known about the primitive tribe, it is believed that they have inhabited the island for nearly 60,000 years. The population of the tribe could range anywhere between 40 and 500.
  • The 2011 Census records 15 Sentinelese on the island, including 12 males and three females.
  • The Sentinelese, known to be a hostile tribe, are hunters and gatherers. It is believed that they are the direct descendants of the first humans who emerged from Africa.
  • The Indian government has made several attempts to reach out to the tribe since 1964 but has been met with hostility. Officials do not visit the island and know little about the condition on it. After the 2004 tsunami, emergency teams attempted to make contact with its members to distribute relief material. Their efforts can be described through a picture, taken by an official, of one of the tribesmen taking aim at a rescue helicopter with an arrow.
  • In 2006, two fishermen, who had spent the night on their boat next to the island, were killed allegedly by members of the tribe.
  • In 2015, the Andaman and Nicobar Administration said it has no intention of interfering with their lifestyle, pursuing further contact with them or enforce law there. The Navy has a 3 mile buffer zone to keep tourists and explorers away from the island.


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