Sentinel Island's 'peace-loving’ tribe had centuries of reasons to fear missionary

Sentinel Island's 'peace-loving’ tribe had centuries of reasons to fear missionary

From the exiled king of Belgium to the Primrose freighter in 1981, outsiders have regretted contact with the Sentinelese – as have the islanders themselves

In 1981, a freighter called the Primrose ran aground on a coral reef in the Bay of Bengal. Winds were high and the surf around the hapless vessel was heaving. The rough conditions probably saved the lives of the 28 crew aboard.

After a few days stuck in the reef, a watchman reported seeing a group emerge from the jungle on the island a few hundred metres away. The sailor’s relief at the sight of a possible rescue party ebbed as the men came into view: nearly naked, carrying spears and bows and arrows that they waved in the direction of the ship.

Related: The lesson from this missionary’s death? Leave the Sentinelese alone | Ajay Saini

Related: North Sentinel Island and the strange death of John Allen Chau – podcast

Related: Sentinel Island: calls to leave body of American killed by tribespeople

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