Two years later, members of the tribe killed two poachers who had been illegally fishing in the waters surrounding their home island, North Sentinel Island, after their boat drifted ashore, according to Survival International, a nonprofit dedicated to the protection of isolated tribal groups, which calls the tribe the "world's most isolated". As of now, any chances of recovering his body seem bleak.
In 2004, following the Asian tsunami that devastated the Andaman chain, a member of the tribe was photographed on a beach on the island, firing arrows at a helicopter sent to check on their welfare. Visits to the island are heavily restricted by the government.
The sole inhabitants of North Sentinel Island, around the size of Manhattan, guard their territory fiercely.
The death of an American missionary on a remote Indian island has cast a rare spotlight on the Sentinelese, one of the world's most reclusive hunter-gatherer tribes.
This is not a pointless thing-The eternal lives of this [Sentinelese] tribe is at hand and I can't wait to see them around the throne of God worshipping in their own language as Revelation 7:9-10 states.
"They, I think, are the very, very precious citizens of our country". One of the juveniles shot at him with an arrow, which pierced his waterproof Bible, he wrote.
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"I'm scared", Chau wrote. "I know that God will bring good out this loss", Staver added. "Would it be wiser to leave and let someone else to continue".
Police and anthropologists are working together to recover Chau's body from the island.
A statement attributed to his family posted on his purported Instagram account said that Chau "had nothing but love for the Sentinelese people".
He returned to the boat afterwards. Chau had paddled his kayak towards the shore carrying fish and a football as gifts, according to a journal quoted by different media. "I feel these decisions were taken hastily without considering the sensitivities that surround the lives of endangered tribes", Dennis Giles, editor, Andaman Chronicle, told ET.
No one is certain how many Sentinelese people live on the island, with estimates ranging from just a handful to as many as hundreds.
"The tribe's language has a lot of high pitched sounds like ba, pa la and as", he wrote.
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Then the tribe were left in peace for nearly a century, until a group of anthropologists tried to land in 1970 but having witnessed sex shows on the beach, a "sort of community mating...a frenzied dance of desire", their boats were forced away by arrows.
Pathak said seven people have been arrested for helping Chau, including five fishermen, a friend of Chau's and a local tourist guide. The family also said it forgave his killers.
Authorities say Chau arrived in the area on October 16 and stayed on another island while he prepared to travel to North Sentinel.
The tribe live on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Thailand and India.
With help from the friend, Chau paid fishermen $325 to take him there, Pathak said.
Marco Polo also came upon the islands in the 13th century and wrote: "They are a most violent and cruel generation who seem to eat everybody they catch". A team of police and forest department officials used a coast guard boat to visit the island Wednesday and another visit was planned Thursday.
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A graduate of the Oral Roberts University, Oklahoma, he set his target of converting the natives to Christianity, and was prepared to take the risks for his life mission.