Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Lost tribe?

Article claims the Andaman islands has happy people who want to be left alone.

They are descended from the "first wave" of emigrants from Africa.

yet there is a question if how we see them depends on the political ideology of those who did the initial fieldwork. Lecture on Youtube here.

Wikipedia article here.

aside from the Japanese occupation and the penal colony, they are isolated? and only a small percentage of people living there are "indigenous"...this was one area decimated by the Boxing day Tsunami...and "threatened" by illegal logging and now tourism. That last link goes to a UK Guardian article that suggests that the idea they should be kept in isolation has morphed into them being kept like monkeys in a zoo, performing for rich visitors.

the local MP has argued strongly that trying to keep the Jarawa apart is futile. But what everyone wants to avoid is the Jarawa going the way of the Great Andamanese, who once lived around Port Blair. From 10,000 in the late 18th century, their numbers have now fallen to about 50 and the tribe is drifting out of history.
"They lost the will to live," says Denis Giles. "The government gave them all facilities, it gave them jobs, but they started drinking and begging. They lost their self-respect and their language and their culture. It is easy for politicians to say integrate, but it is not simple to put it into practice."

no, I don't have an easy answer: but one suspects that many tribes that "died off" actually didn't: I suspect they assimilated and intermarried with outsiders, like the "negritos" of Zambales....

and since "isolated tribes" can die off from outside diseases, the idea that they can be kept in a state of pristine primitive life is nonsense. Wonder how many of the women will "think with their feet" if given a chance? Intermarriage allows the offspring to have a better immunity to disease...

they are described as "pygmy Nigritos", which is similar to those are we have here in the Philippines....probably the original inhabitants.

more here.

Nigritos all over the place, even in Yemen? Hmmm...wonder what the DNA studies will show.

Wikipedia also adds this cultural reference:
The islands are prominently featured in Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes mystery, The Sign of the Four,

No comments: