08 Feb 2006

Andaman Islanders Kill Fishermen

Andaman Islanders Preparing to Shoot Arrows at Helicopter

Readers of the Sherlock Holmes stories may remember the savage little Andaman Islands pygmy, Tonga, and his lethal blowgun from The Sign of Four.

The Telegraph reports that two Indian fishermen recently got drunk and fell asleep in their boat. The boat unhappily drifted toward North Sentinel Island, ultimately arriving with reach of shore, where the unlucky fishermen were promptly slain by the island’s tribesmen, who continue a Stone Age existence today.

Indian authorities have so far declined to try to recover the bodies, fearing a confrontation with the savages.

6 Feedbacks on "Andaman Islanders Kill Fishermen"


What a narrowminded view on this incident! Inform yourself before you publicise this sort of fantasy of yours. Anyone around this island knows that it is totally off limits; anyone who enters it for whatever reason has just bad luck. No one is endangered here but the people living there; letting the fishermen spend even a few hours with the local tribespeople could very easily wipe out the whole tribe due to the fact that they are not immune to many diseases that most “outside” people don’t even know about but carry. They have done nothing but defended themselves against a major threat posed on them by someone either not thinking or, worse, not thinking, then drinking alcohol and thinking even less then. Why is someone who so severely endangers others by drunk decisions to be protected? So for the next time – think, THEN write, especially on the internet. Thanks. (Already curious if you have the guts to leave my critical comment as is without manipulating it. Do you?)


Oh, one more thing: The government was not “afraid” of confrontation with the tribe, as you put it, they rather have the brains to understand the situation and do what makes sense for everyone involved: Not cause further damage.


I only delete comments for a combination of obscene language and lack of substantive content.


The notion that primitive tribes should be preserved in their state of Nature, as in a zoo, and not assimilated into human civilization embodies a number of highly questionable values an perspectives. But when this nonsense proceeds to the point of licensing murder, stupidity has gotten completely out of hand, and proceeded beyond all tolerable limits.


Again, single sided view.

What would you do if someone who is totally on fire stumbles towards you while you are sitting on a huge haystack with your whole family? You yell to stop him, but if he doesn’t stop – whatever the reason – if you have a gun, you shoot him to prevent him from killing your whole family. Don’t try and convince anyone or yourself that you wouldn’t. And this would of course be self defense and not murder.

This is exactly what these tribesmen did – not only, but especially in regards to the very real threat through diseases which are harmless to almost every “outsider”, but ultimately deadly for themselves. There are plenty examples in even very recent history that unwanted contact with the outer world easily kills such peoples – by the means of murder, dieseases, alcohol, destruction of land and food, just to name a few.

Again, do some research and then form your opinion. In the age of the internet (for most cases at least) you can’t say “oh sorry, I didn’t know the background information, so I published my unreflected, unresearched and single sided opinion worldwide anyways”. It would have taken you five minutes to do this. This is so irresponsible that I can not even call it journalism.

By the way, the american government (as other governments, of course) kills people worldwide 24/7 for much lesser reasons with your and my tax money. Think about it.


There is no reason to suppose that the hostile, belligerent, and possibly cannibalistic natives of the Andaman Islands have the slightest acquaintance with epidemiology.

They routinely massacred any unfortunates who came ashore on their strongholds long before Western science had any knowledge of that kind either.

The author of the entry in the 11th edition Brittanica writes:

“The Andaman Islands, so near countries that have for ages attained considerable civilization and have been the seat of great empires, and close to the track of a great commerce which has gone on at least 2000 years, are the abode of savages as low in civilization as almost any known on earth. Our earliest notice of them is in a remarkable collection of early Arab notes on India and China (A.D. 851) which accurately represents the view entertained of this people by mariners down to modern times. “The inhabitants of these islands eat men alive. They are black, with woolly hair, and in their eyes and countenances there is something quite frightful …. They go naked and have no boats. If they had, they would devour all who passed near them. Sometimes ships that are windbound and have exhausted their provision of water, touch here and apply to the natives for it; in such cases the crews sometimes fall into the hands of the latter and most of them are massacred.” The traditional charge of cannibalism has been very persistent; but it is entirely denied by the islanders themselves, and is now and probably always has been untrue. Of their massacres of shipwrecked crews, even in quite modern times, there is no doubt.”


As I seem to not be able to post under the original topic about your single sided opinions on the Sentinelese tribe on the Andaman islands anymore, I now do post it here. If you like, move my comment there.

You must have incredible connections to the Sentinelese! Do you know what experiences these people did or did not have over the duration of their long existence with other people bringing in severe diseases? In that case, maybe share your information with anthropologists worldwide who would surely be more than interested!

Their society has been in existance for many thousand years (up to some 60000, some DNA-analysis say) and have achieved this despite numerous threats to their way of living throughout this time. This inevitably means they must be doing something right. How old and experienced is the society you live in, in comparison? And: How long will yours last?

These guys know and have proven through thousands of years of existence that the way they live works best for them, and they defend their right to choose their form of life – just as you pay your government to do the same, despite you don’t have any similar evidence that your form of living is really a good choice on the long run. Opposite to you and your government, they do not try and intrude on you or anyone else to force you to live their way.

> They routinely massacred any
> unfortunates who came ashore on their
> strongholds long before Western
> science had any knowledge of that kind
> either.

So did many countries and so-called civilisations around the world throughout the ages, including your country up to date, right NOW. And, as I said above, your assumption, indicated by the word either, that they did not have any experience with visitors bringing deadly diseases, is totally made up by you.

Of course, you choose to ignore all this. You rather choose to draw from selected sources such as the 11th edition Britannica that are as out-dated and single-sided as you are yourself. This blatantly egocentric and righteous pseudo-interaction with the real world is exactly why Americans are so welcome in many places around the globe – not.

But I am not your babysitter and won’t do your job to gather information in order to enable you to have an elaborate opinion. Do that yourself.

As long as you choose to persistently ignore anything that might contradict your single sided fantasie world, you will stay inside that small pityful world. Enjoy your 2D-life, make yourself at home – and please, stay there and don’t bother other people.

This conversation is boring. I’m out.


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