An Unbroken Lineage. the Sentinelese Bloodline is 60,000 Years Long

cover the Jarawa Tribe of the Andaman Islands

 

An Unbroken Lineage
written & edited by Kendall F. Person

In a world unlike ours, they wear no fancy clothes and have never heard of cars. Their homes are barely shelters, perhaps leaves held up by bamboo, providing little if any cover. They dance along the beach, until all hours of the night, rituals and celebrations are just their way of welcoming the night. When the sun slides across the moon, and the daylight takes its turn, they retreat into the jungle. where no one not like them, has dared to ever tread. Savages, has long been how they are referred, and because they have black skin, more than likely worse, but the mongers will never tell. A few photographs prove they exist, and a caring nation assures they are not extinct. No matter what picture the civilized world decides to paint, the people of North Sentinel Island have proven they are no cowards and their way of living is a choice, not a random, natural mistake.

bloodline 60000 years long

Art by Daniel Chou

 

In the Bay of Bengal, off the tip of India’s shores, lies the Andaman Islands, an archipelago combined with the Nicobar Islands, that remains an Indian territory. Undiscovered, vast and naturally beautiful, making it a unique region, scarcely matched anywhere else on Mother Earth. But a tiny, speck of an island, 25 miles off India’s territorial shores, sits a nation so small, who but the Sentinelese would ever call it home.

unbroken bloodline

photo: Indian Coast Guard

A mere 27.8 square miles, (72 km) North Sentinel Island is just a tad bit larger than the entire city of Providence, Rhode Island. The indigenous population, known formally as the Sentinelese, have ruled this tiny nation, for more than 60,000 years. Ancestors arrived from  Africa, on a voyage to a new world, somehow finding paradise and making their claim to their own little world. The descendants have remained unchanged, from their height to their hair, and their ebony colored skin. If the homogeneous colony were not rare enough, they have made no advancements, living the exact same way, hunting and gathering, content with a devout pureness, oblivious to the techno savvy world.

However, the outside world was not content without having the tiny speck. So they staked a claim, under the guise of righteousness, by falsely claiming they were less than human and needed some help.

First contact proved disastrous. Storming the island, kidnapping a portion of the clan, then taking the captives on a voyage to a scary and mysterious land.  A violent illness quickly sickened the adults, as they were introduced to diseases they had developed no immunity to fight. Yet, civility would make an appearance, sparing the last uncontacted tribe from complete annihilation  The Indian Government would order  the stronger children to be returned home, leaving the weak and sickened adults to die, alone and afraid in a world that made no sense. The deaths to the adults, would sear deep into the hearts and souls of the Sentinelese people, who would use, what we would call, primitive markings, to denote in their history,  as the time and place, the outside world had declared war.

 

india

Taj Mahal

Peace would remain for a few years, allowing the Sentinelese to retreat into the forests, governing a country, not quite like ours. The nation of India would force their control, announcing that North Sentinel belonged to them, and with a profound sense of grace, allowed the Sentinelese to remain independent and governors of their own fate.

 

In early February 2006, a boat containing two drunken fisherman, was picked up by ocean swells, drifted through the protective zone, crashing into the island itself. Loin cloths covering their groin, long spears grasped in their hands, the Sentinelese men, now an army, numbering between 15 – 100, charged out of the jungle, primitive some say, they were actually soldiers, protecting their women, children and their nations’ shores.

 

Sentinelese

photo: India Navy

A helicopter arrived some days later, to search for the bodies of the fishermen to take back to their countries, so their families could lay them to rest. But under the swelter of an Indian Ocean sky, this time, it was the Sentinelese  army, that struck the first blow. Hurling spears at the strange machine. that flew in the sky, shouting with threatening gestures, using all the weapons in their arsenal, but in reality, they are a tender but helpless people, for even against a single helicopter, they would have never stood a chance.

 

Taken like lambs once before, decimating their already small numbers, this brave group of human beings, perhaps direct descendants of Adam or Eve, who trace their lineage through a single, straight line, for thousands of generations, made a vow, that if the intruders ever came again, they would fight to the death, then be captured and made into one of them.

written & edited by Kendall F. Person

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143 Comments on “An Unbroken Lineage. the Sentinelese Bloodline is 60,000 Years Long

  1. The ‘Indigenous Thirst – Temple Rhythm’ music would make a good cool-down exercise. (I wonder about the animals there, and how they co-exist. But of course, I can always goo-goo that.) 😀

    Well, I just did. It is a veritable paradise. Fiercely guarding one’s individuality is I think a noble thing. 🙂

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  2. As an Indian, these people have long fascinated me. Thanks for bringing their voice to us, and thanks also for the Indianaccents.wordpress.com follow.
    All best,
    Radhika

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  3. Grateful to find your wonderful writing about the Sentinelese… had not known of them and am glad to know you and look forward to seeing future posts from you…thank you for looking in at my site and all best to you, always.

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  5. Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you present.
    It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed information. Wonderful read!
    I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

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  6. Thank you for teaching me about these people. How lucky that the government of India is so enlightened and wise. In these late days the magic of such a people has little strength against the material force (I think one might reasonably say “brute” force) of a very different world. Such people do not need “help”. They just need to be protected from invasion. How wonderful that they are under the aegis of a people wise and kind enough to protect them without interfering.

    My hope is that they have repaired the profound damage done to their “cultural and magical sphere of life” (sorry for that horrible clumsy phrase – there are no words in English to express such things, are there?) We will never really know that though. At least I hope we won’t. It isn’t our business, and any outsider’s getting close enough to know would harm the Sentinelese. That is a battle they are perfectly capable of fighting themselves, and I have every confidence they will win.

    Again, thank you, honored Mr. Person. For teaching me about this.

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  7. Thanks for a very eye-opening and sympathetic description of the Sentinelese people. The indigenous people here in Australia have a similarly long history, but with many changes since European settlement. Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope to read more from you in the future.

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  8. Great music, I love learning about different cultures and how they view their realities. I would love to visit some of these places, but we’ve been immunized against many diseases and it got me thinking, some of these people have never been exposed to those types of bacteria, not to mention the bacteria we release into the air when we chop down trees from rainforests. Your posts have really got me thinking, and that’s great, so thank you..

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  9. I’m a new blogger and your follow on my edgy blog is appreciated. Great to read your posts – eclectic, thoughtful and with a sense of grace and style – you have inspired the artist in me and I particularly love your musical accompaniments/additions…. Classy Act Kendall

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  10. Great blog. Thanks for following me. Looking forward to your posts.

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  11. Wow you have some great writing and information on your blog! Thank you so much for following my blog! It means so much to me as I am just starting and still learning 🙂

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      • Thanks for subscribing to NHK Systems Blog Center. I just started on WP and I’m delighted to have this chance to see what you do in your neighborhood. I’m trying to get my wife involved (very slow to working online), and I feel by introducing her here, it could jump start her. Or give her some more motivation. I can only lead her to water. It’s all up to her to jump in.

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        • wow. what a beautiful thing to say. using The Neighborhood shows to bring your wife onboard. Let her know she is welcome and she is safe here. There is plenty to enjoy and lots to think about. We collaborate under the umbrella of The Arts. We seek to provoke thought, but more so to entertain. Welcome to The Neighborhood. So glad you are here.

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          • I just left you another comment which was posted some where else. What I just discovered on my dashboard is all of my comments that I posted to you and others on the WP community. I could use some advice on how to navigate through other blogger sites. Everyone has different appearances which are congested and takes much of my time to navigate.

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  12. A FREE download via ebook will be available 3-4th July on the Sentinelese people of North Sentinel Island.

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  13. Thank you so much for sharing Kendall! I just wrote you a message, please write me back. And we appreciate you including our track Indigenous Thirst.
    -Room of Voices

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  14. Great post. I’ve read everything I can find on all of the Andaman Island tribes, and never get tired of reading fresh material. These people live in their own paradise, and us “civilized” people should learn lessons from them. I sometimes complain we’re the only species on earth that has to pay to live here, but it’s good to see a tiny fraction of us are still living the way man was meant to live. Great article sir!

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    • Good morning. Each and every voice added by visitors and guests who enjoy the shows means so very much, but especially grateful to receive such high marks on a viewer who already knew so very much about the North Sentinel Islands. Thank you for adding your voice and welcome to the neighborhood.

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  15. Lyric, beautiful, poignant. From a genealogist’s point of view, a lineage like that is incredible. From a compassionate person, the best possible thing is to leave the Sentinelese alone to live as they choose. It may seem better to those of us who are in the “modern” world to “help” them, but how does one help someone who doesn’t need or want it? The answer is painfully simple – leave them alone. If the day should ever come that the Sentinelese want to embark on path to the “modern” world, help would be available. I suspect they already live in paradise and that they would not be remotely inclined to leave it.
    One of the things learned to day – the existence of the Sentinelese.
    Thanks for a beautiful post.

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    • Aquila – Thank you for adding your voice to this forum. I consider myself an entertainer, but when I write nonfiction it is very important for me to be factual, interesting and of importance. So perhaps you can understand why your words mean so much. Welcome to The Neighborhood. You are needed here.

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  16. SSDD – Same Story, Different Day… I have no respect for the “civilized” world that would take a people like this and try to disembowel their way of life. It’s happened way too much. I hope they make it, but I have my doubts. How sad and yet very exciting to know about them. Thank you for posting this and for your insights into their lives.
    Steve

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  17. There is little or no doubt that the first people to leave Africa did so about 70 thousand years ago.There remain, however, much to learn yet. There were more than one migration out of Africa,, the last being Homo Sapiens about 40,000 years ago. The Neanderthal is thought to have existed for some 200,000 years. The history of man’s evolution is complex and not yet completely understood. Your story was very interesting and certainly enlightens a lot of people’s minds.

    Thanks for following my blog on writing and translations.

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  18. Hey,
    Thanks for the follow, it’s very encouraging. I found this article interesting and I like how you always add music to your text. Makes the act of reading a performance. 🙂
    A quick question: Why is there a picture of the Taj Mahal in this article? Is it because India is mentioned?
    Thanks.

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  19. Beautiful archipelago and water-loving elephants, I wonder how it will change once good ol’ industrialism takes over?

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  20. Thank you for following my blog Kendall. Along with the Sentinelese our anthropologists keep revising the date our first people crossed the land bridge into the great Southern Land. They now say Australian Aboriginals have been in continuous occupation for 70,000 years. They lived so lightly on the land their occupation was hardly noticed. In fact it was denied by the first whites to arrive. Developing unique cultural systems including the dreamtime, totemic conservation through story places, bloodlines and songlines they survived and thrived until the slaughter of white invasion. The Sentinelese also tread lightly on the land as your wonderful story illustrates.

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  21. Wow! After reading the comments, I went from thinking this was true to thinking it was fiction and now back to reality thanks to Glenn’s post. LOL! Great story! BTW Snakes can swim! LOL!

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    • I often state that a post or article may initiate dialogue and spark a conversation, but the real wisdom is located here in the discussion, where all voice can be heard. Thank you for adding yours and welcome to the neighborhood. So glad to see you make yourself at home.

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  22. Such an interesting post. I also have never heard of this civilized tribe. I am happy to have stumbled into the neighborhood; the music, the knowledge shared. Thanks for the journey to this distant land. I look forward to following and seeing where else you take us. Great Stuff

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  23. Great read! And thanks for subscribing to my blog as well. Much appreciated! 🙂

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  24. I wonder what their secret is… Keeping the Sentinelese thriving for thousands of years, so many cultures have come and gone while they have lived and remained, even with “outsiders” attempting to impose their power over them.

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  25. Why have I never heard of these people till now? I feel like I’ve been deprived. Thanks for the knowledge.

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    • Thing is, the very act of writing about them would, to even a little extent, impact their very way of life, which is something we should avoid. 🙂

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        • That’s not the point I guess, Kendal. In the very process of understanding these tribes, we would end up influencing their way of life, to whatever extent. That’s something which I feel should be avoided if we are to have them continue living the way they have been. Of course, there are folks who believe it is our job, as a civilized society, to civilize the “barbarians”, but see where that has led us … So many indigenous cultures, societies, so much intermingled that there are only some mild traces of their original way of life left.

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          • I get confused when a person is projecting a general thought onto a specific article or post. I understand the train of thought and I do it as well, but it can be confusing. I thought you were referring to this particular tribe of people. But I certainly understand your way of thought. In the early 90s Californians were stampeding toward the Pacific Northwest because of what they heard of it being the good life. So your point is well taken. Thanks for adding your voice.

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          • What’s wrong with educating these people? I mean, I’m all for people being free and all, but when your way of life includes cannibalism and murder, I think someone should step in. Also, a scientist was murdered on that island.

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        • Agree with you, Veages. The 17th and 18th centuries were times when folks believed in the “white man’s burden” to civilize the natives. Why do we put so much of a premium on homogenizing society?

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  26. Good story! Nice music, it reminds me of so many other tracks for a variety of reasons but it is unique at the same time. Just not sure about the last line in the story, as in, who is “them”? It doesn’t affect the flow of the story for me but after reading a couple of times I can’t seem to let go of that question, so I thought I would comment and see if you could help me remove the blindfold.

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    • There is such limited material on the Sentinelese, which, I am sure is how they want it, but first contact came from a group out of India, but I do not think they were Indian, who wanted to make them “civilized”. As stated in the post, it was an immediate disaster because the adults became ill right away. So the “them” I refer is to the outsiders that captured and indirectly killed the elder Sentinelese people. But really, it is all of us. Everyone. Anyone that is not them.

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  27. Wow! What an incredible story. Is this for real? Or another one of your captivating stories? Either way it is well told and I love the sound track that goes with it. Totally authentic! I love it. I must say I am amazed by your prolific writing output. How much time do you devote to your blogs each day? All the best and look forward to your next entry. I do not always leave a comment but I do look forward to your blogs.

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    • Not science fiction, though Kendall’s writing is beautiful enough that you might think it so.

      This is a true story about a real and living people. If you want to look at the scientific literature on it, I could suggest “The genetic origins of the Andaman Islanders.”
      Endicott P, Gilbert MT, Stringer C, Lalueza-Fox C, Willerslev E, Hansen AJ, Cooper A.
      Am J Hum Genet. 2003 Jan;72(1):178-84. or : Oppenheimer S. “Out-of-Africa, the peopling of continents and islands: tracing uniparental gene trees across the map.” Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2012 Mar 19;367(1590):770-84.
      That second article is OPEN ACCESS, available here:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3267120/

      Respect also to the islanders for demonstrating the proper use of weapons. Don’t let the government disarm you, it may not be your friend.

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  28. If you took away the mosquitos, snakes and other killer animals in that island plus the tribe people seem to be a little angry. Apart from that, I would go there in the blink of and eye.

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  29. Found this interesting. I have such a tribe as part of my book in progress, Earth Sentinels. (Ironically, close the same name, although I’ve never heard of the tribe you discuss until today!) Nice overview.

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