The pirates of Nicobar

In August 1866, a brig named Futteh Islam sailed for Rangoon (Yangon) from Penang, Malaysia. The turbulent weather forced the captain to call at Nancowry harbour in central Nicobar. With a crew of 24, the brig anchored about a quarter of a mile from shore.

Soon, the indigenes of Nicobar, the Nicobarese, loaded their canoes with coconuts, vegetables and poultry and approached the vessel to strike an exchange deal for tobacco, alcohol, cloth and knives. The inhabitants of these isolated islands had established an early barter relation with the outside world through visiting ships. They were known to reach out to any vessel anchored off the islands.

Equations were fairly cordial between the Nicobarese and the Futteh Islam crew until the fourth day, when a group of 30 Nicobarese approached the ship. Their chief went on board to talk to the captain, while the rest waited in their canoes alongside....Read more


Source web page:The Hindu

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