American Man Killed by Remote Sentinel Island Tribe

The young American “missionary” murdered by a tribe living isolated on an Indian island wanted to introduce Christianity into this community hostile to the modern world, according to his latest writings, released on Thursday by local media.

“My name is John, I love them and Jesus loves them. Here they have some fish!” John Allen Chau exclaimed to two armed natives when he first approached the Sentinel Island of the North, of the archipelago. Indian of Andaman and Nicobar, according to local media.

On November 16, this 27-year-old American citizen died while trying to get in touch with this tribe of hunters and gatherers, of about 150 people, who have lived autarky for centuries on this small island in the Andaman Sea.

In these last decades, any attempt to contact the outside world has ended in hostilities and in a violent rejection by this community. The intimate diary that John Allen Chau kept until the last days and hours before his death shows a young traveler who looked like a Christian missionary.

“You may think I’m crazy to do all this but I think it’s worth proclaiming Jesus to these people,” he wrote to his family, in a last letter written on the morning of his death.

“It is not in vain – the eternal lives of this tribe are within reach and I am impatient to see them worship God in their own language,” he said in reference to the verses of the Apocalypse (7, 9-10). Shortly after writing these lines, Chau arrived at the island’s beach. He never returned.

The fishermen who transported him illegally to the island stayed off the coast. From there they could see how a multitude of arrows fell on him but he continued walking. The natives then passed a rope around his neck and dragged his body.

The diary of this adventurer, whose Instagram account is full of images of his trips, reveals that he was preparing this project for some time, in secret and “in the name of God.”

On the eve of his death, he twice approached the Sentinelese, according to this text, impossible to verify.

The second time, he managed to give gifts to one of the aborigines, whose face was covered with “a yellow powder”. But the boy threw an arrow that stuck in his Bible. He started running and came swimming to the fishing boat.

“I will return (to the island) and I will pray that everything will go well”, say his last lines, at 06:20 in the morning, on November 16.

In the absence of physical evidence of the death of his son, his mother told The Washington Post newspaper that she believed he was alive thanks to her “prayers,” according to her. This case puts the Indian authorities in a bind: is it possible to recover the body without causing a clash of civilizations?

If they enter the island to extract the remains of Chau they will break the voluntary isolation of this tribe, with all the anthropological and sanitary consequences that this entails.

By living isolated from the world, this community does not have an immune system adapted to the possible infections present in the organisms of the intruders. Local officials sent a helicopter and a ship to try to determine from afar the place where the body of the American is located.

The authorities turned to Indian anthropologists and tribesmen to decide how to proceed. The police opened a homicide investigation and arrested the fishermen who helped Chau get to the island. Indian law prohibits approaching less than five kilometers, as well as photographing or filming this community.

According to Survival International, this tribe is descended from the first human populations that left Africa and has lived in Andaman for 60,000 years.

The Indian authorities are working today to recover the body of John Allen Chau. The spokesman of the Andaman Police, Jatin Narwal, indicated to Efe that “still” they have not been able to recover the body of Chau of the North Sentinel Island, which is prohibited the step for the protection of the tribes that inhabit it, if well “continue their efforts for this”.

Meanwhile, the police have arrested a local friend of the victim, an expert in water sports and five fishermen to help him reach the island knowing that the Aboriginal people living in it are very hostile and have no contact with the outside world.

“Despite knowing very well the illegality of the action and the hostile attitude of tribal sentinels towards outsiders, these people collaborated with John Chau for his visit to the island Centinela Norte without permission from the authorities,” he said in a statement last night. the general director of the police of the archipelago, Dependra Pathak.

The seven were arrested for violating the regulation for the Protection of Aboriginal Tribes and for “causing the death of John Allen Chau,” according to the note.

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