Spell It: Discover the World’s Most Isolated Tribes


Uncontacted tribes have been found in the mountains of Papua New Guinea, surrounded by water on islands off India, and deep in the Amazon and Congo rainforests. While they arouse a natural curiosity among anthropologists, these hidden tribes are generally recognized as having a right to their land and to self-determination.

Here are some tribes that still live, cut off from all contact with the rest of humanity:

1. Sentinels, Andaman Islands, India

As the most isolated tribe in the world, the Sentinels are known to be a hunter-gatherer society. No one knows how many members the tribe has (estimates put them at 250), and attempts at contact have often caused them to react in a hostile manner. They often shoot arrows at people who approach and even killed a 26-year-old American adventure blogger and evangelical missionary in 2018. Anthropologists have found that tribesmen turned iron found in shipwrecks to proximity in tools, but not much else is known about them.

2. Asaro Mud Men, Goroka, Papua New Guinea

This tribe was discovered about 75 years ago. They are called “mud men” because the tribesmen usually cover themselves in mud and wear oversized masks, with a dual purpose: to look like the spirits they worship and to shock and intimidate other native tribes. In the local language they are called “holosa” (which translates to “ghosts”) because they are usually seen emerging from the jungle as a slow, deadly silent white wave, with arrows notched in their bows and spears . and ready clubs.

3. The Frontier of the Uncontacted, Latin America

The highest concentration of uncontacted tribes on Earth lives along the borders of Peru, Brazil and Bolivia. From the Isconahua to the Mascho-Piro, the tribes know no borders and often cross from one country to another as part of their nomadic way of life. Although not much is known about them, they are known to reject contact due to horrific violence and illnesses brought by strangers. Tribes are known to react aggressively when defending themselves and often leave signs in the forest, warning people to stay away from their territories.


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