How time and civilization have affected the world’s most fierce tribes. Are they still dangerous today? Even Sentinels show aggressive behavior towards strangers.
The more ferocious the tribe, the better its chances of survival. But here it comes – civilization. What’s next? We tell you how the world’s most ferocious tribes live today.
1. North Sentinel
North Sentinel Island belongs to the Indian union territory (a province governed directly from Delhi) of the two island groups Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Composed of approximately 150 to 200 individuals, the tribe which resides there, “the Sentinels,” rejects all contact with the outside world.
The precise origin of the different populations that inhabit the Andaman Archipelago remains quite mysterious. According to some specialists, these peoples could come from Asia, but from Africa, following fifty millennia ago.
In 1880, India was a British colony. Maurice Vidal Portman, a young British naval officer, leads an expedition to study the Sentinels. His men capture members of the tribe, a child and an older couple. Shortly after, the couple died. Then the child is brought back to the island, totally traumatized. Then notice that many members of the tribe die unexplained.
These deaths are actually due to the lack of immune defenses in the Sentinels, making them particularly vulnerable to external contact. After this disastrous episode, the world leaves them alone for a hundred years. For their part, the Sentinels very probably kept this event in mind, which could also partly explain their aggressive behavior towards strangers. New attempts at contact took place in the 1970s. The Sentinels, however, remain wary, and interactions are very brief.
2. The Maori
The self-name of these people translates as “New Zealanders” or “native”. And it is true-any human society builds its system of spiritual staples. A distinctive feature of the Maori is the moko – the tattoos on the face and body. They carried a sacred meaning for the people in the past, and the 19th century for New Zealand mark by headhunting. The heads of defeated enemies from neighboring tribes were brought to their village, carefully processed, and kept as trophies. Not only that but often defeated enemies ritually eaten – the Maori believed that they could gain the enemy’s power in this way.
Today ethnographers speak of the Maori as a warlike people of independent character, courage, and straightforwardness. Today, most of these people do not remember their native language and enjoy the benefits of civilization.
However, they still make tattoos as a tribute to tradition. The process of applying the drawings remains as painful as ever, sometimes taking months. The fact is that tattoos are not used with a needle but with a special chisel – an ear, being, in fact, scarring. No Maori headhunting, of course, has long been contemplated. On the contrary, they are searching the museums of the world for their relatives’ scalps to bury them with dignity.
3. The Maasai
Since the nineteenth century, the Maasai had complete control of East Africa’s savannas and made no compromises with the colonizers. These people were used to fighting – not only with Europeans but also with other tribes, primarily cattle.
For example, the Maasai were adept at terrorizing the neighboring Kikuyu people that they began building settlements on the tops and slopes of mountains in fear of their raids. And in the not-so-distant past, the strict Maasai forbade outsiders to even move through their territory. They deliberately placed invisible “bombs” on the trails – camouflaged cannonballs loaded with gunpowder that would burst if stepped on.
Despite being one of Africa’s most famous tribes and surrounded by civilization, the Maasai still honor their very hard-hearted traditions. Due to the high mortality rate of men who are constantly in conflict with their neighbors, polygamy flourishes among the Maasai. And brides are quoted if they are circumcised – an uncircumcised girl will either not be married or pay a very small ransom for her. By the way, the boys will also circumcise – it is called “emorata,” and it is excruciating. The ritual uses ordinary knives and dressed skins for dressings. The procedure performs without anesthesia; the boy must remain calm and silent.
4. The Dayaks
The Dayaks are not a tribe but a common name for the aborigines of the island of Kalimantan (modern Borneo, which belongs to three countries: Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei). There were at least 200 tribes here, their languages and cultures differed; the main thing in common was the male initiation rite, which existed in the 19th century.
A Dayak could turn from a boy into a man only if he killed an enemy and brought his head back. The trophy tattoo in the form of a star above the chest, neck, or palm. The more stars, the higher the place in society. However, at all times, the Dayak people were no stranger to cunning. Some got tattoos “undeserved.”
The enemy did not kill- it was enough to capture a prisoner or even trade him for some benefits, tie him up, poke his chest with a spear and leave him to die. There was no such thing as a fight on equal footing, where the defeated enemy’s head blow off epically: it was something like killing and not killing at the same time.
Headhunting has long fallen into oblivion; the heads of enemies replace the heads of boars killed in the hunt, but the tattoos remained. The Dayak people use them to distinguish each other’s occupation; it is an indicator of social status and a talisman.
Hunters are especially fond of drawing on their bodies. Their trademark is three parallel stripes from shoulders to the navel or on hips to the waist, or just on hands. The point is also that the Dayaks still believe that tattoos help them after death to cross the sacred river and find themselves in the Paradise Village of the Dead. Whoever has many tattoos will pass; whoever has few will risk ending up in the jaws of the giant Patan fish.
5. The Jivaro
Until the middle of the last century, the Jivaro cut off the heads of their enemies and made them into a kind of souvenir – “tsantza”. In the middle of the previous century, one could buy such a “handicraft” in the Jivaro tribe for several tens of thousands of dollars. Sadly, the primary demand for them at the same time created European collectors.
Making Tsantza is science made on the backside of the enemy’s severed head. The skin was carefully pulled off, along with the hair. The skull throw away-it was of no value-and the skin was sewn together with vines so that it wouldn’t lose its shape and then dropped into boiling water, then the scalp cooled. Hot sand poured inside. When the skin had shrunk to the size of a fist under the heat, wooden sticks inserts into the lips, and then the whole head was blackened with charcoal. The tsantsa was ready.
Today there is no Tsantza making here. Most of the Jivaro have already touched civilization, wear clothes and eat fries, but a few continue to live up to their ancestral customs. They don’t admit to bounty hunting, but rumor has it that tsantsa can still be “ordered” for a lot of money.
However, this already refers to criminal activity and not to the daily life of the whole people. Meanwhile, human heads are still sold in the markets of Ecuador. There is one problem: they are all made of plastic and other materials that are not “biological”.