Update: 2023-10-16


There’s just something about uncontacted tribes that’s always piqued my curiosity. Perhaps you’ve heard of Ishi, who, as the last of his people, emerged from California’s Sierra foothills in the summer of 1911. It’s estimated that Ishi was around 50 years of age and spent the vast majority of his life completely cut off from modern society. And for good reason, after all his tribe was literally slaughtered in a series of massacres.

Then there’s the Bronco Apache I covered here on The Wild West Extravaganza way back when. Link in the description. These guys and gals were still making raids into Arizona and New Mexico as late as 1926. Hell, even a decade later they themselves were being hunted in the mountains of northern Mexico. According to Jason Betzinez, an Apache who rode with Geronimo, those Broncos were still out there as recently as 1959.

Now I don’t know how accurate that is, but if true that’s still quite a long time ago. I think it’s safe to say that as of this recording, there are no remaining uncontacted tribes anywhere in North America.

South America is a different story, though. And let’s not forget about Africa or India. Per the experts at Survival International, there are currently over one hundred uncontacted tribes worldwide. A number that absolutely blows my mind.

If that seems like a lot, I will say that the term uncontacted is a little misleading. Generally speaking, it’s used to describe certain indigenous peoples who AVOID all contact with outsiders. Doesn’t mean they’ve never met anyone else or that they’ve never physically touched or owned modern objects. So long as they continue to avoid all contact with outsiders, they are considered uncontacted.

And today you’re going to hear about a group who, in my opinion, are about as uncontacted as you can possibly get. They have no trade with neighboring tribes, they brook no interference from outsiders and we don’t even know what language they speak, much less what they call themselves. 

 The following is courtesy of Rich Napolitano and his podcast, Shipwrecks and Seadogs:

North Sentinel Island is a remote and largely isolated island located in the Bay of Bengal, belonging to the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago of India. The island is known for its indigenous inhabitants, the Sentinelese, who have fiercely resisted contact with the outside world, maintaining their traditional way of life and avoiding interactions with modern society. Due to their isolation and the limited knowledge about their language and culture, the Sentinelese people remain one of the last uncontacted tribes on Earth, making North Sentinel Island a unique and heavily restricted area for anthropological study and preserving their autonomy. Over recorded history, a number of ships have wrecked near the island, causing unpleasant confrontations with the native people of North Sentinel Island.


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