Indigenous peoples on the Andaman islands threatened by extinction - Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
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Old 09-01-2011, 03:15 PM
Taronyu
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Default Indigenous peoples on the Andaman islands threatened by extinction

The Andaman Islands is located in the Indian Ocean and do formally belong to India today. But its native population(s) has lived there for many millennia.
Since the 18th century the islands have experienced increasing colonisation and occupation by foreigners. First it was the Britsih who, among other things, opened a penal colony on one of the Islands. During WWII the Japanes also had a presence on the islands. Since 1947 the islands belong to India.

From the beginning the native population of the islands is calculated to have been around 6000 – 7000 people (the calculations vary between different sources) but violence and above all contagious diseases have since then reduced the population so it is now down to between 500 to 1000 people belonging to 4 groups. Two of the groups (the Jarawas and the Sentinelese) have more or less withstood to be assimilated by foreigners while the other two groups (the Onge and the Great Andamanese) have nearly disappeared. Nowadays the Indian poulation becomes more and more numerous while the native become less and less. The Indians are now about 300 000 and they many time enchroach on the remaining land of the natives, with illegal logging, illegal fishing, illegal hunting, settling and other activitis. Also companies are building roads, or try to build facilities for tourists close to indigenous territory. The only Island that is free from invaders is North Sentinel Island where the inhabitants meet all forms of enchroachment with arrows.

Last year a member of the Indian parliament, Bishnu Prada Ray, came up with the grotesque proposal that one should remove the children of the Jarawa people and indoctrinate them into living a so called modern Indian life. The proposal is rather similar to the policy of the Stolen generation in Australia or the boarding schools for native children in North America. Some debaters consider Pada Rays plan a plan for genocide and ethnocide.

Sickening call to indoctrinate Jarawa children

Luckily enough there are also some Indian politicians who fight to preserve and save the indigenous Andaman people, among them Sonia Ghandi:

Sonia Gandhi stands up for endangered Andaman tribe - Survival International
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:08 PM
txim_asawl's Avatar
Taronyu
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This makes me feel sad, since the Andaman Islanders were among the first indigenous people I came to know in deep during my college days, studying social sciences and attending a seminar on social anthropology. The book I wrote a lecture paper about and gave a presentation on was "The Andaman Islanders" by Alfred R. Radcliffe-Brown, written in 1922. To think that soon, these people who used to live in harmony with their surroundings and who suffered greatly from the 2004 tsunami, since a lot of them are coast-dwellers, is sad indeed... "very sad only!". One ancient language of the Andaman people called "Bo" died out with the last speaker of it, Boa sr., died on January 28, 2010, at the age of 85. It might be, that at some point, all there's left of these people are memories and photographs, such as these:

Jarawa men:



A native girl, carrying her dead sister's skull with her (from Radcliffe-Brown's book):



Bow fishing:



A Jarawa family:



Two Jarawa women, photographed in 1926:



Wiggling bare toes, sadly, at the thought of them no longer walking this Earth,

~*Txim Asawl*~
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Si'ekong te'lanä, te'lanä le-Na'vi, oeru teya si.
And the beats of the hearts, the hearts of the People, fills me.
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  #3  
Old 05-07-2012, 10:21 AM
Taronyu
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Here is some information about the Sentinelese people on Sentinel island. They reject all contact with the outside world because of bad experiences in the past:

The most isolated tribe in the world? - Survival International

Most Isolated - Films from Survival International
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