Perhaps no people on Earth remain more genuinely isolated than the Sentinelese. They are thought to be directly descended from the first human populations to emerge from Africa, and have probably lived in the Andaman Islands for up to 55,000 years. The fact that their language is so different even from other Andaman islanders suggests that they have had little contact with other people for thousands of years.
This does not mean, however, that they live just as they did 55,000 years ago. Commonly described, for instance, as belonging to the ‘Stone Age’, they do in fact make tools and weapons from metal, which they recover from ships wrecked on the island’s reefs.
I find it fascinating how isolated this group of people is, and how little contact with them has been recorded. They appear to have a strong lifestyle and way of living, as well as strong traditions that they depend on. I admire how they live off the land and use the resources that are waste from people that live more traditional lives.
© Lauren Holly Best, all rights reserved