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JARAWA TRIBES

Jarawa Tribes
The Jarawa are one of the four tribes in the Andamans which is a group of islands in the Indian Ocean. The Jarawa are hunters and gatherers and live on two large islands.

They number between 200-400 which is a large number when compared to the other tribes in Andaman islands. They are nomadic, living in bands of 40-50 people.

Their numbers are fast dwindling. An epidemic of measles in 1999 and 2006 wiped away about ten percent of the Jarawa population.

Alcoholism, obesity, diabetes, and depression, are other ailments, which are now appearing as the other causes for decrease in their population.

Jarawa or Jarwa means "stranger" in the language of the Great Andamanese. They call themselves "Ya-eng-nga" which, means "human being".


History
The ancestors of the Jarawa and the other tribes of the Andaman Islands are thought to have been part of the first successful human migrations out of Africa. Several hundred thousand Indian settlers now live on the islands, vastly outnumbering the tribes.

Location
The Jarawas inhabit the west portion of south Andamans and Middle Andamans. It has three social territorial divisions as, Northern group, Central and Southern Group. The northern group inhabit the Kadamtala adjacent areas called 'Tanmad', the southern group inhabit tirur area called 'Boiab' and the central group inhabit the RK Nallah adjacent areas along the Andaman Truck Road area called 'Thidong'.

Place /Location (then and now)
South Andamans, Middle Andamans
Population
bands of 40-50 people
Languages spoken
Andamanese
Food
wild boar, turtles and their eggs, crabs, fruits and honey

Culture
The Jarawas call their hut or settlement as chadda. The jarawas of both sexes go completely naked. But they wear some ornaments. A bark thick chest guard called 'Tohe' is used by the adult male members when they go out for hunting. The other ornaments worn by them are head band, necklace, armlets and waist bands. These are mainly made of palm leaves and shells. With the increased contact with the outsiders the jarwa have began to use cloth items which they call as kangapo. The Jarawa of both sexes decorate their body and face with clay. Their folk songs revolve around their material culture and hunting, fishing and gathering activities.

'Towa' is most popular tool among the Jarawas which they use in cutting pork in pieces. It has a shape of an arrow with no stick but has a wide breadth of 4-6 inches. They keep Towa in their wiast guard known as 'tohe' in jarwa Langauge. Jarawa Language The sun (ehey), moon (taape), sky (pange), stars (chilope) and cloud (ethibithi) have their great role in the Jarawa myths and legends. The full moon is called 'utthutaape' and small moon is called 'poniya tappe'. The high tide is called 'chakte' while low tide is called 'chigia'

Encroachments into their territory is threatening their very existence.Outside intereaction expose them to new diseases for which they seem to have no immunity. Poachers are said to steal their game as well. Sexual exploitation of the Jarawa women has also been reported. Tourism has been a major threat of late for the Jarawas. Indigenous tribes are our heritage to be treasured and it remains our responsibility to help them sustain themselves in environments they have always lived in and not turn them into objects of tourist curiosity.

Occupation
The Jarawas who live in the rainforests hunt wild pigs, monitor lizards, fish and gather fruits and berries. Their lives are synchronised with the environment around them.

Food
As nomadic tribes who depend on hunting, fishing and gathering activities, their traditional food articles consist of wild boar, turtles and their eggs, crabs and other shore animals, fruits like jackfruit and honey..

Jarawa Dance
The Jarawas are hetitlehy, with smooth skin, deep curly hair, long and sturdy hands and legs and sturdy bones. They are physically fit for hunting, fishing. The present Jarawa community bears a large portion in the population as reproductive active population of teenagers and young members. The marriage generally occurs between the adolescents. A widow/widower can marry again in the Jarawa community. Though the jarwa are strictly monogamous, subsequent marriages are common. The children after six or seven years do not share the sleeping place with their parents but live with other children and move from one place to another independently till they get married