First Woman To Meet The Dangerous, Uncontacted Tribe Of The Sentinel Island
With all the technology we now have at our disposal, it takes only a matter of seconds to communicate with someone halfway across the world. Even with all the systems of communication we have in place, there are still a few isolated places in the world that are virtually untouched by modern society.
One such place is Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal. This small island is part of the Andaman Islands chain, which is home to tribes that have little to no contact with the outside world. It is this lack of communication that has proved difficult in the present day and in the past.
In 1991, an anthropologist by the name of Madhumala Chattopadhyay made contact with the Sentinelese tribe and things went surprisingly well.
“Never ever in my six years of doing research along with the tribes of the Andamans did any man ever misbehave with me. The tribes might be primitive in their technological achievements, but socially they are far ahead of us.”
Madhumala had been determined from the age of 12 to make contact with the most isolated tribes of the worlds. She studied anthropology at the University of Calcutta so that she had the right tools when she made contact.
The secret to her success with the Sentinelese was coconuts. As soon as the boat came within sight of the shoreline, the anthropologist and the crew began throwing coconuts into the water, which prompted the tribe to move closer and gather up the fruit. Madhumala’s meeting with the tribes is considered one of the few successes and is believed to have gone well because of her presence.
You may have heard about the Sentinelese in recent news. A Christian missionary by the name of John Chau attempted to enter the tribe’s territory and lost his life as a result.
Because of the tribe’s past aggressiveness and their vulnerability to diseases, India has made travel to the island and contact with the tribe both illegal.