The Andamanese Islanders: The Jawara Tribe



jawara peopleThere are still people in our planet, that are not a part of the modern world. An example of such a group of people is the Jawara tribe, an indigenous people who occupy the island of Andaman in South East Asia. The island became a part of India in 1947. The Jawara tribe are hunter-gatherers, a society where most or all food is obtained by collecting wild plants and hunting wild animals. Physically, they are very small(the men about 4 feet in height, the women about 3 feet in height) and are dark skinned. How or when they came to the island of Andaman is still yet unknown, but they have been there for several thousand and maybe even a longer time then that. From a study done on their DNA(hair collected a long time ago), it was learned that these Andamanese islanders belonged to one of the earliest groups to migrate out of Africa, their makeup is very close to African pygmies people. Their dialect is very much different from the languages spoken in the old world among Africans which shows that they have been isolated for quite a long time. Modern humans arrived in Asia 60 to a 100 thousand years ago and the islanders could be their direct descendants, a stone age people, the remnants of the modern people that first settled in Asia at the end of the ice age.

To learn more about these Andamanese Islanders, watch the documentary below, it is about 50 minutes long and begins to repeat itself after its done, hence the video saying its 1 hour 40 minutes long:


Tale Of The Forgotten People Of Andaman Island – Jarawa Tribe Documentary

Modern Day, the Andaman island is no longer reserved for the indigenous tribe, nearly half a million migrants from India live there. The Jawara people of South Andaman are protected by the police who are instructed to interfere as little as possible with these ingenious people’s way of life. With new developments, or modern way of life, there is little trace of the original area(Eden) where the islanders use to occupy, currently a space of 300 square miles in the forest has been set aside for them to live in. And if they ever try to wonder away into other villages, they are sent back to the forest. Because of the Jawara people’s traditional way of life and very un-modernized way they live life, it is not easy to hold them to the laws in modern day India. The New York times published a recent story of a baby boy that was conceived by a Jawara woman who was not married and an outsider(a person not part of the tribe). The baby boy was born light skinned which made him even stand out more, as the Jawara tribe people are dark skinned, that baby boy was sadly killed by one of the men from the tribe to keep in line with what is known as ““purity and sanctity of the society.” Some sympathize with the group, saying that they should be left alone, classifying them as a pre-civilized society that are just staying true to their traditions of killing children of mixed blood to maintain the purity of their race. Mr. Thakur, the police superintendent managing the case believes that “nobody is above the law,” and that the case is ” straightforward enough from a constitutional perspective.” But there are also conflicting laws in India that have special rights granted to social groups like tribes that are vulnerable.

Read more: New York Times


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