How They Survived – A True Story

Shamans have always known that everything is alive and has spirit. Where such knowledge endures, its power is felt in a very real way. Read the fascinating story of the aboriginal Onge tribe of India who were able to survive the 2004 tsunami in Asia because of their spiritual attunement to nature:

When the water in the creek suddenly ran out to sea on the morning of December 26 the Onge knew the evil spirits were up to no good.

They scattered pig and turtle skulls around their settlement and hurled stones toward the ocean. Hurriedly gathering their baskets, bows and arrows, they then fled to the jungle, bearing amulets of ancestral bones for protection.

Minutes later, the tsunami that left nearly 300,000 people dead or missing in the India Ocean region slammed into their tribal reserve in India’s remote Andaman islands. All 96 Onge survived, even as the residents of the nearby town of Hut Bay perished.

“The water went away very quickly, and, like breathing in and out of the body, the sea water had to come back very rapidly and in a big way,” Totanagey, an Onge man, explained to anthropologist Vishvajit Pandaya. “We saw the water and knew that more land would soon become covered with sea, and angry spirits would descend down to hunt us away.”

The Onge reacted instantly to the threat, guided by their knowledge of these spirits.

Adapted from Darkness Visible, by Ross Heaven and Simon Buxton (Inner Traditions, 2005). Copyright (c) 2005 by Ross Heaven and Simon Buxton. Reprinted by permission of Inner Traditions.
Adapted from Darkness Visible, by Ross Heaven and Simon Buxton (Inner Traditions, 2005).


Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

Awareness of natural happenings- missing in much of the civilized world.

Tim C.
Tim C5 years ago


Carole R.
Carole R6 years ago

Thank you for the great post.

Maya B.
Past Member 6 years ago

We are continuously developing.

Lynn C.
Lynn C6 years ago

Oh Annie, this was an beautiful story.
This is what is so devastating to our beautiful planet when these tribes are lost - their total integration into the world around them. They would have so much to teach and yet, the rest of the world is so out of touch, so disrespectful, rude, and so ignorant, that even to communicate with them would put them at risk.
None the less, thank you for sharing the story.

K s Goh
KS G6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

Amazing and interesting story.