When you try, with representatives of the isolated nature of the people on North Sentinel Island to befriend in the Indian ocean, is an American lost his life. About the community, almost nothing is known. Her seclusion might be necessary for survival. the Arne Perras Arne Perras

Arne Perras, Born in 1967, is a correspondent for South and Southeast Asia and lives with his family in Singapore. From 2006 to 2012, he reported for the SZ from Africa. He has a PhD in history and is the author of the book “Carl Peters and German Imperialism 1856 to 1918. A Political Biography” (Oxford University Press, 2004).


the stories are so Far only in fragments; an incomplete Puzzle about a strange encounter on the beach, which probably ended with the death of a 27-year-old American. John Allen Chau had tried last week to approach the people on North Sentinel Island in the Indian ocean. “When you try, with the tribe of people to befriend, hit him with the arrow of an Unknown,” noted the Indian police, the bizarre criminal case draws the attention to a remote people, which are so little there is hardly any other community that is known as of people.

North Sentinel Island belongs to the group of the Andaman Islands, from the point of view of a globally interconnected earth the inhabitants of the place Terra incognita is. The state prohibits the access, and so researchers has remained, the people, the Sentinelese, until today, a mystery, no one – except them – knows their language, their everyday lives. About their origin there are only guesses. About 100 men and women may live there still, no one knows exactly. But it is certain that you do not appreciate it, if you get a visit.

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the police report reads in part as scenes from the time of Robinson Crusoe. The missing U.S. citizens Chau was not a castaway, but had planned his trip. What he wanted, exactly, remains nebulous, the police report says that he was a “missionary purposes” on-the-go. Far he came. Fishing another island, had brought him secretly into the close, the last piece he paddled in the Kayak. The same fisherman, who reported from arrow shots to Chau, want to have seen, such as the Sentinelese dragged the body onto the beach. He was half have been buried in the Sand. Since then, the track.

After the Tsunami of 2004, flew a helicopter to the island. A hail of arrows greeted him

In the globalized world would have long since landed commissioners, would have secured the crime scene. However, the island is shielding by law fully to serve the protection of the indigenous people, considered to be the “unkontaktiert” – that is, in the insulation exists. All of this does not mean that the Sentinelese would have never uncovered to other people. There were meetings, but they were probably only briefly. Some visitors came not again. In 2006, two fishermen, who hunted illegally to the sea animals of the island had come to close and appeared to have been killed by the inhabitants of the island.

The anthropologist Sophie Gril of the organization “Survival International” considers the strategy, the people’s strictly from the outside world to stay away, is crucial in order to ensure their Survival. “These people have no immune defense against our diseases,” says the Briton. Of the state, to accept the visitors, would have consequences of the catastrophic.

Individual Attempts to secure by presents the sympathies of the Sentinelese were not successful, these people were not curls, what could essential be the reason for this is that it’s still there. Has helped you to foreclose, the seclusion and the government decision of 1996, the North Sentinel Island.

As of 2004, the Tsunami raged, were a researcher, what happened to the Nautilus. A reconnaissance helicopter flew over the island and was greeted with a hail of arrows. “That was a sign that they had survived, apparently quite well,” says Grill. The case of the American, the Indian in front of a Dilemma, on the one hand, it is important to let the people in peace, on the other hand, a foreigner, or whose body is being searched. From the helicopter there was nothing to explore, so exploring will be on the island is essential. A risky adventure, especially for the Sentinelese, for nothing is so dangerous as the germs from the wide world.

In a earlier Version of this article, we have called the island, mistakenly, only the “Sentinel Island”. Correct the name, prefixed with the addition of the “North”.