Rare footage of the "uncontacted" tribe that killed the missionary who illegally went to their island to preach

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/06/03/rare-footage-of-the-uncontac.html


I am waiting for the news report of some gun toting hick from america deciding to land on the island with an arsenal…ya know…to preach the good word and all. /s


Here’s a question I’ve wondered about a situation like this: let’s say that we learn just enough about these folks to know with reasonable certainty that they do some terrible things. Like, they practice infanticide, chattel slavery, they sexually abuse women systematically, a bunch of really not great stuff with innocent victims. What do we* do in that instance**?

*“we” being the rest of the world

**I’m most definitely not suggesting that these folks do any of these things, I was just left with no good answer when I thought about what was the right answer


We don’t stop the saudis or chinese. What makes the sentinelese special?


What does the Prime Directive state?


What are they hiding?


So did he ever succeed in beating St. Sebastian’s record for arrow wounds or what?



Put closed captioning on at 1:14 for the smash hit “swing swing the janitor [Music]”

we probably do nothing, but if public sentiment pushes us, then we act and engage them to change it. the prime directive is idiotic philosophically, as is, after a certain point, the concept of cultural relativism. They promote lazy thinking where you can not decide on any form of objective truth. but then we can only think of these luxuries of action because they are small. in the 19th Century we would’ve genocided them casually, in the 20th we would’ve turned the other cheek and maybe sent a missionary, and now we would sit on our hands and do nothing, particularly if they have great economic power.


Maybe the reason they don’t like missionaries is that they’ve already found Jesus and they don’t want anyone else to know where he is.


So I’m watching that and being amazed at how remarkably African they appear, and start thinking about the idea of the indigenous Australians having traveled along the shorelines of the Indian ocean from Africa (and thinking anthropologists would love to get some Sentinelese DNA), so I go to google maps to see where the island is, only to find 500+ google “reviews”, mostly using the same tired humor of “nice place until they tied me to a tree.”

Yes, hilarious. Ha ha ha.

I wonder if they got any illnesses from those coconuts, like if one of those Indian guys had a cold. Could be devastating, or maybe it was, and that’s why they shot that missionary as soon as he arrived. “Fool me once…”

I also see what appears to be a piece of plexiglass or plastic on their grass hut. I imagine they get lots of modern world flotsam on their beaches. Wonder how they treat that stuff.


Well, what would make the situation “special” is that it could be addressed without causing a large-scale war or throwing the world economy into chaos. But, to be clear, I’m not saying we should do anything one way or the other. I just don’t think there’s a morally or practically satisfying answer to the question.

“Break in Case of Emergency,” I think.


“Jesus asked me to come by and tell you of his doctrine, and also I’m a carrier for hundreds of communicable diseases you’ve never been exposed to”.


check out this article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kionasmith/2018/11/30/everything-we-know-about-the-isolated-sentinelese-people-of-north-sentinel-island/#10c9834e35a0

Seems that “we” have contacted them in the past and there have been several ship wrecks there:
“In 1981, a cargo ship called the Primrose and her crew of 28 ran aground on the reef, in an eerie echo of the Ninevah. But this time the sailors were rescued by helicopter, and later visitors to the island say that the Sentinelese seemed to have salvaged metal from the ship for their tools and weapons.”


So much for “the prime directive.”

[ETA: from that article: “In 1970, India claimed the isolated little island, and a survey dropped a stone tablet on the beach to say so. There’s no record of the Sentinelese response.”-- now that’s some droll humor.]


From Wikipedia:
“ In 1880, in an effort to establish contact with the Sentinelese, British naval officer Maurice Vidal Portman, who was serving as a colonialadministrator to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, led an armed group of Europeans along with convict-orderlies and Andamanese trackers (whom they had already befriended) to North Sentinel Island. On their arrival, the islanders fled into the treeline. After several days of futile search, during which they found abandoned villages and paths, Portman’s men captured six individuals, an elderly man and woman and four children.[37] The man and woman died shortly after their arrival in Port Blair and the children sickened.[8]Portman hurriedly sent the children back to the North Sentinel Island with ample gifts to establish friendly contact and noted their “peculiarly idiotic expression of countenance, and manner of behaving”.[19]

Yeah, it doesn’t seem like the reasons for their hostility towards outsiders should be much of a mystery.


Here’s a nice first-hand account.

Sadly - their population appears to be in decline, and are quite vulnerable to a host of challenges that could wipe them (or their culture) out.


In fact, not african :

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Maybe the best way to leave the North Sentinelese alone is to ignore them? The stories always come round to the mysterious uncontacted tribe, it gets turned into a media circus and they get treated like a curiosity. It just encourages more misguided fools to attempt contact.