The Tribes of Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Although lesser in number, their presence is an iconic feature of this destination. So let us dive into the history of the native tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Very little is known about the Sentinelese as they have vehemently refused all attempts of contact from the rest of the world and insisted on remaining isolated. They occupy North Sentinel Island and are known to be hostile to anybody attempting to associate with them. Multiple fly-bys and other attempts to make friendly contact with them have been made but they have refused to let outsiders get close to them. The exact number of Sentinelese people is unknown as long-term contact with the tribe has been virtually impossible.
First contacted in the 1840s, the Shompen are one of the most populous tribes of Andaman Nicobar island. There are around 200-300 Shompen who mainly reside on Great Nicobar Island. They have not been very receptive to the outside world, so there is no knowing how many have survived epidemic outbreaks, COVID-19 etc. They are primarily hunter-gatherers.
The Nicobarese are not one particular tribe, but a blanket term referring to the dominant tribes residing on the Nicobar Islands. They have a matriarchal chief and most of them practise Christianity, while others practise animism and other traditional religions of the islands. They mainly depend on agriculture for their food and even use fruits and nuts as a form of currency.
On your visit, come stay at Symphony Palms Beach Resort and Spa located on Havelock Island and learn more about the indigenous tribes of Andaman and Nicobar islands.