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    Ancient Tribe Becomes Extinct as Last Member Dies


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    Ancient Tribe Becomes Extinct as Last Member Dies

    Post by Watari on Fri 05 Feb 2010, 10:27 pm

    CNN wrote:New Delhi, India (CNN) -- The last member of an ancient tribe
    that has inhabited an Indian island chain for around 65,000 years has
    died, a group that campaigns for the protection of indigenous peoples
    has said.

    Boa Sr, who was around 85 years of age, died last week
    in the Andaman islands, about 750 miles off India's eastern coast,
    Survival International said in a statement. The London-based
    group, which works to protect indigenous peoples, said she was the last
    member of one of ten distinct Great Andamanese tribes, the Bo.

    "The Bo are thought to have lived in the Andaman islands for as long as
    65,000 years, making them the descendants of one of the oldest human
    cultures on earth," it noted.

    With her passing at a hospital, India also lost one of its most endangered languages,
    also called Bo, linguists say.

    "She was the last speaker of (the) Bo language. It pains to see how one by one we
    are losing speakers of Great Andamanese and (their) language is getting extinct.
    (It is) A very fast erosion of (the) indigenous knowledge base, that we all are helplessly
    witnessing," read an obituary in Boa Sr's honor posted on the Web site of the Vanishing
    Voices of the Great Andamanese (VOGA) project.

    Project director Anvita Abbi, a professor at New Delhi's Jawaharlal
    Nehru University, met with Boa as recently as last year. "She was the
    only member who remembered the old songs," Abbi recounted in her

    "Boa Sr was the only speaker of Bo and had no one to
    converse with in that language," Abbi told CNN. Her husband and
    children had already died, the linguist said.

    Other than Bo, she also knew local Andaman languages, which she
    would use to converse, according to Abbi.

    Boa Sr was believed to be the oldest of the Great Andamanese, members of
    ten distinct tribes. Survival International estimates there are now
    just 52 Great Andamanese left.

    There were believed to be 5,000 of them when the British colonized
    the archipelago in 1858. Most of those tribal communities were subsequently
    killed or died of diseases, says Survival International.

    The British also held the indigenous tribes people captive
    in what was called an Andaman Home, but none of the 150 children born
    there survived beyond two years of age, according to the group.

    Boa Sr also survived the killer Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.

    She recorded in Bo what she saw when the giant waves arrived. "While we
    were all asleep, the water rose and filled all around. We did not get
    up before the water rose. Water filled where we were and as the morning
    broke the water started to recede," reads a translation of her tsunami
    narrative posted on the VOGA Web site.

    Activists are expressing alarm over her death.

    "Boa's loss is a bleak reminder that we must not allow this to happen to the
    other tribes of the Andaman islands," Survival director Stephen Corry
    said in the statement. Andaman and Nicobar Islands authorities put at
    least five tribes in their list of vulnerable indigenous communities.

    According to Corry's group, the surviving Great Andamanese depend largely on the
    Indian government for food and shelter and abuse of alcohol is rife.

    Among the tribes are the Sentinelese, who inhabit a 60-square-kilometer island.

    Officials believe the group is probably the world's only surviving Paleolithic
    people without contact with any other community. They said the
    Sentinelese are very hostile and never leave their Island. Very little
    is known about them.
    Kyouri Kai

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    Re: Ancient Tribe Becomes Extinct as Last Member Dies

    Post by Kyouri Kai on Sat 06 Feb 2010, 11:15 am

    Now that's just sad! I mean, it's not like the organization didn't know it was coming as she was the last, but to know that the organizations own country (England) helped bring about this event has got to have them a bit on the angry side. Sad news, but thanks for sharing, Watari. Perhaps it will open the eyes of others up to see that there are some things in life worth a whole lot more than technology and power. 65,000 years!? Amazing!!!

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    Re: Ancient Tribe Becomes Extinct as Last Member Dies

    Post by Watari on Sat 06 Feb 2010, 12:49 pm

    I think it's sad to lose an important part of the worlds history and a person as a whole but as sad as it is it's also a fact of life, nothing lives forever and that's including heritage lines, they always get lost somewhere along the way. Take my ancestry for example, I'm 1/4 Aleut, I can't speak it, nor do I know any fluent speakers, eventually that 1/4 is going to turn so minuscule that my great, great, great grand kids won't even know they're Aleut.

    With that I mainly posted this because I thought it was important to be reminded that our actions have a consequence regardless of whether or not you think the impact is going to be big or small, all actions have an equal and opposite reaction, just depends on when you get that reaction, could be 100's of years later. I think this is very important in today's society because we're at a point where we are at war, we were driving heavy emissions vehicles, we are filling our landfills at an enormous rate in most places and I will venture to say our actions will have a definite equal and opposite reaction, it's going to happen just a matter of when and where.

    Re: Ancient Tribe Becomes Extinct as Last Member Dies

    Post by Marijane on Sun 07 Feb 2010, 10:22 am

    Wow, 65,000 years is a really long time. Too bad that it had to come to an end, but I agree, they had to have known that it was coming to an end. Even if they were to try and learn the language. I mean, yeah she was older, but still, no one knows the language, or much about the actual tribe now. It's really sad to think about it like that.

    And I also agree with you Watari.. I am part Indian, no idea what kind or anything like that, but the reason for that is because its very small.. and it was my great X5 grandma that was Indian. *shrugs* no one knows anything about it in my family.. and none of my grand kids would know that either.

    Thanks Watari!

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