The People of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The Andaman and
The Andaman and Nicobar archipelago consist of 319 islands in total, of which 38 are with human inhabitation. Of the thirty eight inhabited islands first one, the Andaman group consists of twenty six and the other Nicobar group consists of just twelve. For an average person, the
The history of the cellular jail is rife with records of horrendous tortures inflicted upon hapless people who had taken part in the freedom struggle. At present the cellular jail which is situated in the
The way these aboriginal people first came and settled in these
Up to the middle of the 19th century, purity of the tribal population remained almost un affected. The great Andamans (the largest of the
The Ongese – the original inhabitants of the Little Andamans are sub divided in to a number of “Bands”. A “band’ is a collection of more than one families. There is only one tenement for a band and this tenement is known as “Beyra”. This type of a joint family by name beyra forms a social unit. The Ongese are at present got settled in Dugong creek and
As their tribe name denotes the Nicobarese tribes are the original inhabitants of the Nicobar group of
They share many cultural and social rituals among them. “Tuhet” is the extended household of the Nicobarese, and it plays very important roles in controlling their social and trading activities of its members. As the Nicobarese are mainly fishermen, herders, horticulturalists and sailors, they frequently have to cross the straits between the
By the ardent work of the government agencies the Nicobarese have been imparted with some formal education. This has enabled them to acquire some types of jobs like Police, Shipping related works, clerks etc. Of all these tribes the sentineleses are perhaps the smartest they never permit outsiders to enter in to their
Jarawas who live in the South and Middle Andaman islands are mainly hunters and gatherers. The dense forests and the sea around bless them with every thing these tribes require; there sole want is only just something to fill their stomach. Shompens live in the great
The establishment of the penal settlement in this
A fresh heterogeneous community belonging to different religions, castes, and ethnic groups was thus formed. This new community with numerous exogamous sub groups was named as “Locals” for the sake of convenience.
Growing timber industry also required a lot of skilled labor, which was not available among the tribals, hence labors from ChotaNagpur and Jharkhand were also brought in, these people are known as “Ranchiwala” or as “Sathi”. In Sathis also there are about a dozen sub groups. Baraiks,Chik, Lohars, Khariars,Ouaos, Kumbhars, Mundas, Gonds, etc Are the members of the Sathis, all are exogamous units. Bhantus, Moplas (Mulims)and Locals are mainly agriculturists; the Ranchiwalas are mainly landless laborers. Between 1907 and 1923 people from erstwhile
The partition of
The blunt question that can be asked is, “who is the loser in all these events? what the innocent tribes have gained?. To a people whose identity is being lost and who are slowly becoming extinct, what gain and loss mean.