Meet the first woman to communicate with one of the world's remotest tribes. - History Brought Alive
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Meet the first woman to communicate with one of the world’s remotest tribes.

Since she was a little girl, Madhumala Chattopadhyay has been interested in studying the tribes of the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

As an adult anthropologist, she spent six years doing so and eventually published 20 research papers as well as the book Tribes of Car Nicobar.

In January 1991, Chattopadhyay received her first opportunity to travel to North Sentinel as a Ph.D. fellow with the AnSI. But there was a catch: women were excluded from the groups that traveled to the islands to make contact with the “hostile” tribes. According to Chattopadhyay, “I had to submit a written assurance stating that I was aware of the hazards involved and would not seek compensation from the government for any damage or loss of life.” “The same written undertaking has to be provided by my parents as well.”

After receiving permission, Chattopadhyay went on to interact with the Sentinelese for the first time as a woman anthropologist. She describes her first-hand experiences in an interview with National Geographic conducted 27 years later.


PIC: Get Bengal, First Post, National Geographic,