Friday, February 05, 2010

Ancient tribe disappears forever

The Andaman Islands, east of India, house ten distinct tribes with their own languages.
Make that nine tribes.
Boa Sr, a lady of around 85 who just died in India, was the last member of the Boa tribe and the last person alive who knew its language. Her tribe had lived on the islands for perhaps 65,000 years.
COMMENT: There is a growing (if late) concern with the threatened indigenous peoples of the world, and you can read plenty about it, thanks in part to the London-based group Survival International. Very rarely, though, is the problem crystallized in a single heartbreaking moment. Dedicated linguists and anthropologists are trying to salvage what they can out of a legacy of warfare, neglect, exploitation, and policies by larger nations which were, at the very least, misguided.


No comments: