The Amazing Andamanese People

by LoveUniHateExams 10 Replies latest social current

  • LoveUniHateExams
    LoveUniHateExams

    I recently watched a documentary about Andamanese people on YouTube.

    The Andaman archipelago is officially ruled by India and lies in the Bay of Bengal, between the eastern coast of India and Burma.

    The indigenous people are or were stone age people, hunter-gatherers.

    They have the general appearance and stature of African pygmy people.

    There are 4 main surviving groups: Great Andaman (made up of several tribes, although the remaining people are few in number and have discarded tribal boundaries), Jarawa, Onge, and Sentinelese.

    I've read a bit about their languages (only on Wikipedia - tsk! tsk!) and find them also interesting.

    Apparently, their languages are agglutinative - meaning that prefixes and suffixes are added to basic words to convey elaborate meaning. There are prefixes relating to body parts that give different shades of meaning - e.g. 'sharp-sighted' or 'keen eyed' is conveyed by adding the prefix for eye to the adjective good.

    Many of the Great Andaman dialects have the prefix for tongue ('aka') before the tribal name, e.g. aka-jeru, aka-bo (language of the Jeru people, language of the Bo people, etc.).

    The history of the Great Andaman people is a sad one. Successive empires of Britain and Japan, plus the independent Indian government haven't treated them well, and their numbers are much reduced, their languages have mostly disappeared.

    The Jarawa are faring better, they still speak their language but a road built by the Indian government dissects their traditional land in two. Plus, they are greatly outnumbered on South Andaman by new immigrants from India.

    The Sentinelese are found on North Sentinel Island and are extremely hostile to outsiders. They probably see how outsiders have negatively impacted on other Andaman peoples and as a consequence, they reject the outside world and want to live as they have done for millennia. I totally understand this, and admire them for it, in a way.

    Their language and customs are largely unknown. The Indian government has given up on trying to contact them and has designated the island an excluded zone.

  • snowbird
    snowbird

    Lovely people.

    Here, we would refer to their skin color as blue-black or that they were born spittin' purple.

    I was just reading about the Yanomamo, a group down in South America that we studied in a college anthropology class.

    There is so much diversity on Planet Earth.

  • LoveUniHateExams
    LoveUniHateExams

    Some photos of Andaman people:

    Image result for andaman people

    Image result for andaman people

  • LoveUniHateExams
    LoveUniHateExams

    Yanomamo people:

    Image result for Yanomamo people

    Image result for Yanomamo people

  • snowbird
    snowbird

    Thank you, LUHE.

    I don't know how to do pictures on my tablet.

  • Wasanelder Once
    Wasanelder Once

    The thing I love about these little island dwellers is how their folklore saved them from the big tsunami that wiped out 200,000 people back in 2004.

    "When the earthquakes struck, the Onges moved to higher ground deep inside their forest and escaped the fury of the waves that entered the settlements," he told the BBC News website after talking to some of the inhabitants who knew some Hindi as well as their own ancient languages.

    He said another aboriginal people - the Jarawa on South and Middle Andaman - also fled to higher ground before the waves."

    I wrote a paper on them in college and it was amazing to read how they incorporated the natural world in their dogma so that they acted to save themselves. When the ocean receded they knew the God's were offended and were going to send the waves to punish them. Head for the hills! Westerners got a beer and walked to the beach to see the tide go out, lol.


  • Simon
    Simon
    Head for the hills! Westerners got a beer and walked to the beach to see the tide go out, lol.

    I think that has more to do with having a group of people who live by the ocean and a group of visitors who are just there on vacation and don't live near any place typically hit by tsunamis.

  • snowbird
    snowbird

    And, it's about people who are closely attuned to their environment.

    For example, my late mother could tell time to the minute just by observing the sun.

  • Simon
    Simon
    my late mother could tell time to the minute just by observing the sun

    That and her wrist-watch because otherwise that is pure baloney - to accurately tell time to the minute from the sun would require a fixed and large sun-dial.

  • shepherdless
    shepherdless
    my late mother could tell time to the minute just by observing the sun

    I found that if you spend a lot of time working outdoors in a rural environment, where you would finish each day at sunset, and fences and buildings aligned north-south or east-west, after a while you know the time from the position of the sun (and shadows) to within a half hour, if not better, almost without thinking. Not to the minute, though.

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