General Question

Unofficial_Member's avatar

Do you believe the chances would be better if a woman is used to befriend Sentinelese people?

Asked by Unofficial_Member (5068points) 2 months ago

As we know, there have been numerous attempt to befriend the isolated tribe of North Sentinel Island but all of them were met with rejection and even hostile treatment. Despite that, people keep on hoping and trying their best to bridge the path to these indigenous people. The recent death of an American who attempt to do so stand as proof to that.

One thing in common with all these expedition undertook to get close to these indigenous people is that they were all composed of foreign looking men, which might be perceived as threat by the locals (especially male locals, since they’re the warriors sent to greet the outsiders), which led to their dismissal. I have a hypothesis that if a woman (let’s just say a highly ambitious anthropologist) of physically and closely related ancestry were to be sent there, naked, and willing to be used by his captors to further her study about their living then the chances of us learning the truth about the tribe will be much higher. I think this is a better strategy due to these reasons:
– Men are lustful for women, North Sentinel Island men are no exception. The chance that this woman will be made as partner or ‘trophy wife’ is there. Seduction and compliance will come in handy when meeting this men.

- If she’s made as their wife then her chances of survival in their tribe will be retained since due to what seem like Patriachal culture the men can declare a new member and even the women of the tribe will not go against this and harm the newly introduced woman.

- If this woman is made pregnant the her acceptance in to the tribe might become permanent. The people would have seen her as fully assimilated in to the tribe since she’s carrying their future bloodline. Not to mention that such a thing will actually help their long-standing inbred generations. At this point she might have a very good chance to act as the representative between the tribe and the outside world.

We have successfully open our world to the Jarawa (another tribe near Sentinelese island) people through a representative, we might have failed several times to do so with Sentinelese island even with gifts but that doesn’t mean a different, more ancient approach (mate introduction) won’t work. What do you think about my hypothesis? Do you have a better, more plausible idea? Any scientific reasoning will be greatly appreciated.

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35 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

@Unofficial_Member You have a colonialist, almost racist, view of the situation. …the chances would be better.

Better for whom? Leave them alone! They do not want to be involved with the outside world, AND introduction of an outsider, female or not, could be a death sentence as they are not immune to many common viruses.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@zenvelo Better for our anthropological studies regarding this tribe. Better for governmental and society’s influence toward this tribe. Just see the Jarawa tribe, they have opened their eyes while previously being resistant toward outsiders and now they have experienced much development in their tribal society. You can’t blame people for giving a little push for assimilation. Sometimes a little push is what it needed.

Tribal people can gain foreign pathogen resistance with our current sciences and throughout further co-habitation and inter-breeding with modern people can eventually develop their own natural resistance toward foreign pathogen.

notnotnotnot's avatar

This is a joke, right? You’re advocating “saving” a society (that doesn’t want or need saving) by killing it? For what? So it can become another conquest of global capitalism, littered with Walmarts and Olive Gardens?

mazingerz88's avatar

I would consider thinking about sending a woman only if this indigenous group of people are dying and asking for help from the outside world and requestjng Ariana Grande or Katy Perry to deliver the meds.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@notnotnotnot I won’t exaggerate by saying “saving”, I’m saying this is for the (optionally) best of both our people and their people. How do you know they don’t want to be introduced to modern society? All we know is that they see outsiders as threat, they haven’t experienced our modern culture yet, thus their non-existent desire to open their world to us. You don’t want honey until you taste that honey is sweet. Like I said, just see the Jarawa tribe, more development due to our modern society assimilation. There’s no reason to deprive North Sentinel people of these benefits. I am not advocating an army to subdue these people, I’m suggesting a better, more trustworthy way to pave our path to the heart of these tribal people.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I agree with all the reasons above for thinking this is a dumb idea.

My guess is that if a woman came to the island one morning, she would be in a stew pot as the dinner entree that afternoon.

The OP is trying to ascribe western thoughts and mores to a civilization that has no concept of western civilization.

mazingerz88's avatar

To the OP…

^^You know that you could kill everybody there just by sending somebody right? There’s risk of disruption to their lives to the point of causing their eventual destruction by being exposed.

You assume they would one day thank you for forcing yourself into their lives bringing happiness they never knew they would crave or they need.

They had survived for so long and seems decided on staying on their own and mingling with others on their own terms. Why do you think they really need you? What is so critical to you and to them that you should meet?

notnotnotnot's avatar

@Unofficial_Member: “more development due to our modern society assimilation. There’s no reason to deprive North Sentinel people of these benefits.”

Wow. Like @zenvelo said, “You have a colonialist, almost racist, view of the situation”.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@elbanditoroso They’re not known to be cannibals. Surely there’s no harm to introduce alternative world to these people. Like I said, it’s optional. Her main role there is to study the people, and if possible, serve as a peaceful, pacifist representative of both world. She’s not there doing useless thing like what John Chau did. She’s there for the possible future benefit of both people.

@mazingerz88 “mingling with others on their own terms”
Nobody forcing them to accept this woman. This woman is there to give them a choice to accept her in to their tribe or to reject her. It’s optional. I’m just asking if the strategy I proposed has a sound probability of success.

@notnotnotnot If you have decided to think from a negative angle then there’s nothing I can say about that.

notnotnotnot's avatar

@Unofficial_Member: “If you have decided to think from a negative angle then there’s nothing I can say about that.”

There is no other angle in your proposal.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@notnotnotnot You didn’t see I stated about “anthropological study advances”? Even if she failed to introduce these people to the outside world she’ll at least learn about their culture. You can’t deny someone of their right to pursue knowledge.

notnotnotnot's avatar

@Unofficial_Member: “You didn’t see I stated about “anthropological study advances”? Even if she failed to introduce these people to the outside world she’ll at least learn about their culture.”

You want to risk killing off an indigenous people, and destroy their culture for some undefined “anthropological study advances”? Seriously? You are willing to kill an entire culture so you can read about what it was like before we destroyed it in an academic journal?

@Unofficial_Member: “You can’t deny someone of their right to pursue knowledge.”

Yes, we can. And should. Especially if it means killing people and destroying a culture. Note: think about what you just said here. I don’t think you really support this statement.

I’m still not even sure if you’re serious at this point.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Leave them alone. If you want to learn about them apply for some satellite surveillance time. Leave them alone.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@notnotnotnot Please don’t make it sound so extreme and cruel. “Killing off the entire tribe due to foreign pathogen” is a debatable and contested theory. There have been many documentaries about outsiders that try to live alongside native, secluded Amazonian tribes and they certainly haven’t killed anybody due to their foreign pathogen (if there were any). Learning about others’ culture and the acceptance of one’s desire to learn about their culture is a choice. Nobody is being forced here, if both party agree then good, if not then it’s still good. What I’m interested in is the probability of success of a peaceful and (more likely) beneficial attempt to get to know these people.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@LuckyGuy As if that would be effective. As if that would substitute for a real on-field studies. As if that satellite will allow us to see through the densely forested habitation.

mazingerz88's avatar

You want to put this people at risk for no critical reason than to satisfy your curiosity. Leave them alone. In practice and in theory.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

Alright folks, let’s put the “endangering population” debate aside. I’m not touching these people (for real). I’m not even working for Indian government so I have no authority to do that.

Let’s suppose that such foreign pathogen risk is non-existent and we’re just here to discuss the probability of success of using a woman to get close to tribal men from ancient civilization. Will a strategy based on naturally occuring sexual attraction really work? That is more interesting to discuss.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Unofficial_Member I think a woman would have a higher probability of getting in and accepted for the reasons you stated. I also think there’s a high probability that she would die, regardless of being a woman.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@KNOWITALL Thank you. I have been thinking that all these times people who have been attempting to befriend these tribesmen didn’t think in the way ancient people do, they didn’t strategize enough, and doing the process in a modern way, which is way it was perceived as a threat by these people. I believe gender attraction is the key to forge relation in this ancient civilization, just like how our ancient ancestors did in the past, just like how animals do in the wild.

chyna's avatar

I think they would recognize her for the outsider she is and kill her as they did the American.
If not, if she is coming in naked, what is to stop them from raping her? You seem to think she will be able to go in and reason with a group of people who don’t think like the rest of the world. They will still see her as an intruder. I don’t see why anyone would want to risk their life to try to civilize a tribe who seem perfectly happy as they are.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@chyna Christian missionaries would in a heartbeat. Maybe not naked and maybe not as a sexual object though. That would be quite a jewel in the Heavenly crown.

Demosthenes's avatar

Perhaps. That’s to say nothing about whether anyone should do this. But certainly someone who is there to tell them their beliefs and way of life are wrong has a lower chance than someone who is simply curious. But the tribe might not even know the distinction if there’s no real communication.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@chyna I already said that she came to the tribesmen perfectly know and willing to be ‘used’ by them in order to gain entry to the tribe. After she’s impregnated she’ll more likely be considered as a new member of the tribe (through consummation and the child she carries in her). There have been numerous attempt by various people and government officials to befriend these people, and I don’t think they would stop.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@Demosthenes Communication is secondary in importance. She can learn through direct observation. It is also possible to learn the language given enough time of assimilation.

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mazingerz88's avatar

In the name of science I can’t see why any woman would do it risking her life and the lives of those people. In the name of religion maybe another missionary, female this time might actually try it.

Demosthenes's avatar

Whether it’s in the same of science or religion, I don’t think it’s right to risk damaging these isolated societies. Of course I’m curious and would love if we could study them more, but not at the risk it brings to them.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Unofficial_Member FYI – Thermal imaging has already shown they maintain fire rather than starting it as needed.
Fire-piston technology in that region has been around for 30000 years ago. Their society does not have that tool.

Leave them alone.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

^ If such a thing really effective the Indian government wouldn’t have made estimation based on observation alone, they never mention the use of satellite observation, but rather, a patrol ship observation. Who knows, perhaps they never released the information to the public.

I am personally interested in their secluded and well-guarded culture. I won’t do anything to them but if someone is willing to befriend those people in a legal way then I’ll cheer for them and say “just go for it”.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Unofficial_Member I thought the previous thread said all contact was illegal?

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@KNOWITALL I bet you mean my previous post in this current thread as this is the most recent thread that I made. As for the answer, not all contacts were legal, the most recent one where an American died is one of them, most of other efforts were, of course, legal under the supervision of Indian Government.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Unofficial Interesting. So they dont kill the govt folks?

kritiper's avatar

The result would be the same. Any female, like any male, would infect them with disease that they have no immunity too, and they would all die. After they killed her.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@KNOWITALL They attempt to, but the governments officials were accompanied by armed military forces, meanwhile, this American missionary was there all by himself.

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