These are the most isolated and dangerous tribes in the world. From head hunting cannibals to a nomadic African tribe that is now armed with fully-automatic machine guns. We take a look at 10 isolated and dangerous tribes from around the world.
There are over 100 tribes in the world who have very little contact with the modern world. Many are content to live in isolation while others may not even understand that a more modern society exists. Some, however, are very dangerous when approached by outsiders choosing to use poisonous darts, spears, sticks and other weapons to kill anyone who even approaches their communities.
Governments around the world are realizing that to protect these tribes outsiders may need to be kept away because diseases like the common cold carried by these explorers can destroy entire tribes in a matter of days. Some people, however, are imposing on their land seeking gold, forest and even clay. Here are the 10 most isolated and dangerous tribes in the world.
10. Sentinelese Tribe
One of the most dangerous tribes in the world is the Sentinelese tribe. They live on North Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal that is located between Myanmar and India. Their island is about the size of Manhattan.
Despite the fact that these hunter-gatherers appear to have only flat-bows and javelins, the Indian government, who controls the land, has said that they are so fierce that they have forbidden anyone to go within three miles of the island.
An Indian naval helicopter attempted to drop food and supplies on the island after the 2004 tsunami, but the pilot was warned away by a tribesmen brandishing a javelin.
No one knows for sure how many Sentinelese tribesmen there are with conservative estimates saying 40, but most experts suggest that there are between 250 and 500 members of this tribe. Furthermore, it is believed that this tribe’s ancestors have lived on the island for at least 60,000 years.
9. Yaifo Tribe
This tribe lives in East Sepik in Papua New Guinea’s Central Ranges.
When British adventurist Benedict Allen made contact with the tribe in 1988, he was greeted with a fierce dance display involving bows and arrows. He was then forced to undergo a six-week initiation ceremony in which he was beaten and force-fed daily.
The tribe uses two different types of arrows. They have a multi-tiered arrow that they use for catching fish and they have a long single-blade arrow with many barbs that they use to kill pigs and people.
Allen who is one of the few outsiders to make contact with this group was highly impressed with their ability to walk on small tree limbs. Tribesmen have impeccable balance and can run between tree tops completely unaided. This group appears to use their women, who are extremely small in stature, as spies against outsiders. They can almost become invisible hiding among bushes and foliage of trees.
To reach the tribe it can take a long as a month paddling along a remote and winding river, alternatively it can take around six weeks of hard trekking through dense, treacherous jungle.
8. Korowai Tribe
Not discovered until 1974, the Korowai Tribe of Papua, New Guinea, is viewed as one of the fierce tribes on earth. Many believe that people living in this community may not have even known that other people existed on earth. These tribes people live in tree houses built 140 feet in the air to protect them against rival tribes that surround their remote village. While they have had little contact with the outside world, they tend to believe that white people are possessed by demons. The tribe has been known to kill people onsite to prevent demonic forces entering their villages. It’s customary for tribesmen to point a long barbed arrow at any outsiders until peace is established.
Cannibalism was carried out in the past, and some experts believe that it is still practiced in rare instances today. It’s thought that when a person dies in the community that they believe was possessed their flesh is consumed during a tribal ceremony.
It’s been long speculated that Michael Rochefeller, an heir to the enormous Rockefeller fortune, befell an ill fate after making contact with this tribe. In November 1961, Rockefeller and a Dutch anthropologist were exploring the remote jungles of the Asmat region of what was then known at Dutch New Guinea. The two were researching the area, collecting artifacts and relics as well as documenting local art and traditions.
On the morning of the 17th of November 1961, the two explorers capsized their canoe. Their local guides swam for help but took too long. After drifting aimlessly for hours, Rockefeller believed he could swim to shore and find help – this would be the last time Michael Rockefeller was seen alive.
There are several theories as to what happened to him after diving into the water. Some say he succumbed to exposure and drowned before reaching the shore. Others think sharks or crocodiles got to him first. The most popular theory however, is that Rockefeller was captured by local tribesmen. It’s believed that he was tied up, killed and eaten for being a trespassing, white demon.
7. Surma or Suri Tribe
The Surma or Suri tribe lives in the Bench Maji Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR) in Ethiopia. This tribe is considered one of the most dangerous to outsiders because they often use automatic firearms obtained during the Sudanese Civil War to protect their livestock and villages. They are also extremely talented at a form of stick fighting that they refer to as saginé. They use saginé as a rite of passage for young men, and they also use it to duel over women with the loser sometimes being killed before the battle ends.
The tribe raises livestock including cattle and goats and subsists on crops including sorghum, maize and cassava. Initiation into adulthood is only held approximately every 25 years, with young men often being beaten almost to death before being accepted as a man.
When Russian doctors visited this tribe in the 1980’s, they thought the doctors were the walking dead because of the color of their skin.
6. Korubo or Dslala Tribe
This tribe lives in the Western Amazon Basin. There are reports of violently clashes among tribes in the area. Tribesmen use long clubs that often taller than themselves. The Fundação Nacional do Índio of the Brazilian government have tried to establish peaceful contact with this tribe of about 150 members, but the tribe clubbed seven of the government’s employees to death. The government has determined that this group is so dangerous that they have established a reservation for them with no one allowed to enter the area.
While it is not believed that this tribe has any particular religious beliefs, they often practice infanticide – the intentional killing of their infants. Unlike most tribes, it’s believed that this community runs on a matriarchal hierarchy.
Continue Reading on Next Page: