10 Mysterious Ancient Tribes

According to evolution, man evolved from chimpanzees into Homo sapiens as a distinct species. The result was the emergence of a modern and advanced human. Fast forward to the present year, and we know the level of advancement that has happened around us. Despite the development and advancement in technology, certain group/tribes of people didn’t succumb to the pressure of having to evolve mentally. There are tribes that very much practice living in the wild and are harmonious being in nature.

Let’s check the list of 10 mysterious tribes of ancient origin and some of them are new to us:

10. Sama-Bajau, Philippines

They are aboriginals of the Sulu Archipelago in the Philippines. The tribes are sometimes referred to as sea gypsies because of their semi-nomadic lifestyle in the sea. They thrived out of the sea by fishing and with the occasional trading. Even though they liked to sea fare, they would have erected houses on stilts by the shore.

If the oral traditions had to be taken into account, there would be a long list of various folktales. One of them even claims that they were initially land-bound people. Fast forward to the present, and the modern Sama-Bajau’s are peace loving and cheerful. There have also been instances of the fishermen often associated with illegal and destructive practices. For example, there have been instances of illegal methods of fishing being employed. Also, there have been allegations about cutting down the mangrove trees. Majority of the population follows Islam as their religion. An exemplary skill noticed in Sama-Bajau people is their remarkable capacity to free dive.

9. Korubo, Brazil

Korubo tribes are also known as Dslala, and are aboriginals of the Amazonian basin. Not much is known about the tribe. Little information is available in the form of research that belongs to Sydney Possuelo (explorer) and Paul Raffaele(journalist). They have their reservations about coming in contact with the outside civilization, and they prefer to stay in isolation. The situation turned pretty hostile when contact was made with outside provinces. They don’t have any particular religion that they follow nor do they ever engage in any sort of spiritual practices. They are mostly hunters and live inside large huts along with their community. Among the tribe, it is derogatory to call them Korubo, as it was a name given by an enemy. Within the local community, they are known as Caceteiro.

8. Mascho-Piro, Peru

Mascho-Piro is a tribe like the Sentinelese that hasn’t made any kind of contact with the outside world. They are natives of an extremely remote region of the Amazon rainforest. Considering how vast and treacherous the Amazon is, it is understandable how this group hasn’t made any contact with the outside civilization. They are of the foraging character and are primarily hunters. Population wise, they’re low in numbers (~250), and don’t follow any kind of specific religion. One of the primary reasons why their existence is at the verge of endangerment is because these tribes don’t have immunity to some of the common ailments.

7. Moken, Burma/Thailand

Typically, tribes are land bound and move from one province to another with time. The Moken people live out of their boats on the sea, thus leading a partially nomadic lifestyle. They belong to the Mergui Archipelago and are estimated to be around 3000 in population. As a tribe, they all identify themselves with a common customary culture. They pray to their forefathers and ancestors and do not follow any religion. They have shown resistance to the efforts of the Burmese and Thai officials to integrate them as part of a wider tradition. Due to land grabbing and other commercial activities in their vicinity, their existence has been under threat. An interesting genetic advantage noted in the Moken children is their ability to see underwater better.

6. Korowai, Indonesia

Korowai people are estimated to be around 3000 and they inhabit the Indonesian region of Papua. They are primarily hunters along with some of them engaging in cultivation. Their beliefs are radical and they believe in animal sacrifice for addressing situations of trouble. Totem traditions are common along with associated and independent folktales. As far as reincarnation is concerned, they believe in the concept completely. There have been reports of cannibalism, but there is not a lot of information to support it. Up until the 70s, these people weren’t even aware of existence outside their community. They may be tribal people, but they have sufficiently used their brains with respect to constructing their houses. All their houses are elevated on stilts to protect them from rival tribes and groups.

5. Sentinelese, India

The Sentinelese Tribes

Very little is known about the tribe as they are yet to be contacted by the outside world. They have always refused to make any sort of communication with the outside world, and they resort to brutal measures when people try to get in touch with them. Whether you are a friendly outsider or not, you will be answered with hostility if you land your foot on the area they inhabit. They are not more than 500 in population, and have a height ranging between 5’3” and 5’5”. They meet their food needs through hunting and foraging. These tribes are indigenous to the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. Both men and women wear ornaments.

Anthropologist Madhumala Chattopadhyay gets the credit for being the first woman to have made contact with these groups, that too a friendly one. This is the only recorded friendly exchange between the Sentinelese and the outside world.

4. Tuareg People, Sahara

Primarily found in Niger, Tuareg people lead their life by engaging themselves in animal husbandry and raising livestock. Every tribe has got uniqueness to them, and these people stand out because of the blue attire that they wear that eventually brings about pigmentation to their skin. They have played a significant role in spreading the religion of Islam primarily across North Africa. Despite their wide presence in different regions, they are popular for inhabiting large areas of the Sahara. Even though they lead a nomadic lifestyle, there is strict adherence to hierarchy and class division. They take the class division very seriously and are known to affect their decisions when it comes to events like marriage.

In this mysterious tribe, men wear veils and women lead the family. The Tuareg people have been leading their life this way for many centuries. Even today, their culture and traditions are mysterious.

3. Chuckchi, Russia

The tribe gets the name as they are inhabitants of the Chukchi Peninsula. They are presently estimated to be around 16,000 in the world. Chukchi tribes can be primarily divided into two: maritime and reindeer Chukchi. The former relies on the sea for a livelihood, and the latter is dependent on their herds of reindeer. To bring order in the tribe and as a means of livelihood for the tribe, the Soviets (In 1932) established enterprises that surround reindeer herding and carving of the tusk of the walrus. Despite their efforts, some even continue to lead the nomadic lifestyle and hunting as a means of livelihood. Apart from Russia and Ukraine, a few Chukchi people can be spotted in Estonia too.

2. Eskaya People, Philippines

Eskaya is a tribe with an extremely small population found in the island country of the Philippines. Everything about this community has caught the fascination of both common people and researches engaged in understanding ethnicity and linguistic history. Unfortunately, ever since they became popular in mainstream media, there has been a significant decline in their tradition. Hence, they have been categorized as an indigenous community and efforts are being made to restore and preserve whatever is left. There are speculations about their origins being in the Middle East, but there is no concrete proof to support this whatsoever.

Even more mysterious is their language. Historians and researchers are unable to find the roots to this unique language of the Eskaya people.

1. Maasai, Kenya

These are tribes that are predominantly found in Kenya and Tanzania. Despite the government’s efforts to intervene and educate the Maasai about renouncing their conventional and nomadic lifestyle, they continue to preserve their ancient customs. It would be worth mentioning that some of the Maasai population has been educated in Swahili and English. The tribes are predominantly patriarchal, and the oldest men decide the show in a cluster.

There is a folklore that surrounds the Maasai: every young boy needs to kill a lion before he is circumcised to enter adulthood. They traditionally rely on raw meat and blood of their herd for meeting dietary needs. Even though they’re primarily involved in herding and pastoral activities, some of them have started cultivation owing to the pressure on cattle due to increasing population. Like any other tribes, they have their own set of qualms towards development and modernization.


It still remains a mystery about their intelligence about astronomy. This quality of the tribe is often compared to that of the ancient Egyptians.