A Suicidal Trip

A Suicidal Trip

An american Christian missionary was killed and buried by a hunter-gatherers tribe in South East Asia.

John Allen Chau, a 26 year old adventurer, died killed by members of the Sentinelese community. North Sentinel island is located in the Andaman Islands, in the Bay of Bengal. This is the home of this tribe. They shot him down with arrows made of wood. The tribe transported the body in the forest and buried Chau in the sand.

The Sentineleses are the last pre-Neolithic tribe in the whole world. They don’t want to have any contact with other civilisations. The tribe made a law which is that nobody can approach the island within 5 kilometers. All attempts of contact were rejected by the members of the community. Because of their contact ban, they do not have a good immune system and it is one of the reason why visits from the outside could be fatal to them. There are about 250 people living on this island.

Indian authorities have tried to find John Allen Chau’s body even if they don’t know how they will be able to walk on the island. They tried to localize his body by boat and helicopter without success. They have accused 7 people who helped Chau get closer to the island because it is considered accesory to murder.

During his first attempt, he brought gifts to the tribe and he didn’t understand why they were so aggressive. He said: “I have been so nice with them why are they so angry?”. The first time he tried to go on the island, he returned to the boat, an arrow sticking out from his Bible.

The second time he went on the island, he has been circled by some people of the tribe and shot with arrows. He kept walking until the Sentineleses put a rope around his neck and carried his body in the forest.

Chau knew it was really dangerous to go near this island, but he wanted to convert them to Christianism. He said: “I know everybody thinks I’m crazy to go on this island, but I think it’s important to bring Jesus to all these people”. He revealed that he prepared this long project in the name of God.




*This is one of the only pictures of this tribe, because of the law.

Written by: Rose Jolicoeur

Edited by: Lola Pearl O’Grady, Audrey Côté

Picture by: Christian Caron