NEW DELHI John Allen Chau had to know that what he was about to do was extremely dangerous….warned not to go to prohibited island.
Instead, he pushed ahead in his kayak, which he had packed with a Bible. Chau left a note saying that Jesus had bestowed him with the strength to go to the most forbidden places on Earth.
T. N. Pandit, an anthropologist who visited North Sentinel several times between 1967 and 1991, said the Sentinelese people — who officially number around 50 and who hunt with spears and arrows fashioned from scraps of metal that wash up on their shores — were more hostile to outsiders than other indigenous communities living in the Andamans.
Once, when Mr. Pandit’s expedition offered a pig to the Sentinelese, two members of the tribe walked to the edge of the beach, “speared it” and buried it in the sand.
During another encounter, Mr. Pandit was separated from his colleagues and left alone in the water. A young tribesman on the beach pulled out a knife and “made a sign as if he was carving out my body.”
“He threatened; I understood,” Mr. Pandit said. “Contact was different with the Sentinelese,” he added, noting that the Jarawa, another tribe, “invited us to come ashore and sang songs.”
Being left alone was very important for the Sentinelese, said Stephen Corry, the director of Survival International, a group that protects the rights of indigenous tribal peoples around the world.