Special Sub-Topic: The Last Of the Bo
|Boa Sr was named for her tribe, the Bo, which inhabited the Andaman Islands. To which country does this territory belong?|
India. The Andaman Islands are located in the Bay of Bengal. They were first occupied by Britain in 1789 and later acted as a prison to hold Indian activists. Though briefly occupied by the Japanese during World War II, the Andaman Islands returned to British control shortly before India was declared independent in 1947.
|The Bo were said to be one of the oldest human cultures on Earth, being established shortly after the first humans walked out of Africa. At the time of Boa Sr's death (2010), what was the generally agreed age of the Bo tribe?|
65,000 years old. The actual date of when Homo sapiens first appeared in evolutionary history has been the centre of much debate for a long time, though many scientists now concur that this happened around 200,000 years ago. Humans are believed to have migrated from Africa around 75,000 years ago and, curiously, were able to colonize the Andaman Islands shortly after - around 65,000 years ago. This was found to be the case after analyzing the mitochondrial DNA of tribal inhabitants of the islands and comparing them with the early African migrants.
|Great Andamanese is an umbrella term for the languages spoken by the tribes which exist/existed on the Great Andaman archipelago. How many individual tribes (and therefore tribal languages) are recognized to make up the Great Andamanese languages?|
10. Great Andamanese is one of two families of languages which make up what are known as the Andaman languages (the other being Ongan). Great Andamanese was recognised to be made up by ten tribal languages, nine of which had become extinct by 2010.
|When a permanent British colony was established on the Andaman Islands (around 1860), there were 5,000 Great Andamanese tribal members, but at the time of Boa Sr's death (2010) there were reported to be only 52 remaining. As well as suffering greatly from diseases brought by settlers, what reason was given for this dramatic decline in the Andamanese population?|
Alcohol abuse. Of the four recognised tribes on the Andaman Islands, the Great Andamanese were the first to come into contact with non-tribal settlers (over 150 years ago). The Great Andamanese lived in the northern jungles, but were relocated in 1970.
Alcoholism continues to be a detrimental factor in the lives of the tribespeople.
|Boa Sr was the sole speaker of the language of Bo for thirty years, yet her comments about recent events, such as the 2004 tsunami, have been translated for many to hear. How was this done?|
By communicating with Boa using a mixture of Great Andamese and Hindi. Professor Abbi was able to communicate with Boa using a mixture of languages and told the world of how she dealt with the 2004 tsunami. Boa told Abbi that she was instructed not to run from the tsunami by the elder and that she would be safe.
|The Great Andamanese (once made up of several sub-tribes) is just one of the tribes found on the Andaman Islands. Which of these Andamanese tribes was declared to have died out in the early 20th century?|
The Jangil. The Shompen, the Jarawa and the Onge, along with Sentinelise (not mentioned above), join the Great Andamanese as the ancient tribes found on the Andaman Islands.
The Jangil were thought to be closely related to the Jawara tribe and, because they lived on Rutland Island, were sometimes referred to as the Rutland Jawara. The tribe was believed to have died out in the 1920s.
|Boa Sr revealed that she envied the remaining tribes who lived together in the jungles. What is believed to be the main reason for the continued existence of tribes such as the most populated on the Andaman Islands, the Sentinelese?|
Refusal of contact with the outside world. Of all the ancient tribes found on Andaman Islands, the Sentinelese are the greatest in number, though their population is still worryingly low, at 250. As of 2010, the Sentinelese were the only Andamanese tribe which banned contact with outsiders. This hostility was famously captured by cameras mounted on a helicopter which intended to film the 2004 tsunami. Here, the Sentinelese were seen firing arrows at this mysterious flying machine.
|In 1970, the Great Andamanese tribes were relocated to Strait Island. Which city, also the capital of the Andaman Islands, is located close to Strait Island?|
Port Blair. Conflict with British settlers had left the Bo (and other Great Andamanese tribes) weakened, with greatly reduced numbers and less living space. Those deemed as trouble-makers by the British were kept in an Andaman Home, but this was even more disastrous for the Great Andamanese population, as none of the 150 babies born in this home survived past the age of two.
These tribes, after having been relocated in 1970, were left totally dependent on handouts from the Indian government.
|Another risk from outside contact has been identified in the neighbouring Jarawa tribe, who now number just a few hundred. This factor is thought to have contributed significantly to the decline in the Bo population. What factor is this?|
Poaching of game on which the tribes depend. The Jarawa, who live in the forests of Middle Andaman, resisted human contact until 1980, but now number only 250 (as of 2010). In the face of disease, poachers, and encroaching motorways, the reduced Jarawa tribe still maintain their traditional way of life, hunting in the Andaman forests.
|The death of Boa Sr was a stark reminder of the loss of cultural diversity which continues to occur globally. Which of these is not true of Boa Sr's passing?|
Boa spent her dying days in the home in which she was born. Boa was born in the jungle, but she lived out her last few years in a concrete hut on a tiny state pension. Her conversations with Professor Abbi provided a fascinating viewpoint on world events.
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