Skip to comments.Outrage over Indian islands 'human zoo' video
Posted on 01/11/2012 1:02:36 PM PST by MNDude
Rights campaigners and politicians Wednesday condemned a video showing women from a protected and primitive tribe dancing for tourists reportedly in exchange for food on India's Andaman Islands.
British newspaper The Observer released the undated video showing Jarawa tribal women -- some of them naked -- being lured to dance and sing after a bribe was allegedly paid to a policeman to produce them.
Under Indian laws designed to protect ancient tribal groups susceptible to outside influence and disease, photographing or coming into contact with the Jarawa and some of the Andaman aborigines is banned.
The tribe, thought to have been among the first people to migrate successfully from Africa to Asia, lives a nomadic existence in the lush, tropical forests of the Andamans in the Indian Ocean
"It's deplorable. You cannot treat human beings like beasts for the sake of money. Whatever kind of tourism is that, I totally disapprove of that and it is being banned also," the minister added.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
It seems it's the Elitists in government that wishes to keep these people living as beasts. God-forbid, they might wish to pursue air-conditioning and other comforts like any other human being if exposed to it.
If my cousins couldn’t dance naked on the streets for money, we’d have never had enough dough for the family reunion.
Well, a “human zoo” for some is another man’s family reunion.
When I was in NYC, I saw a bunch of inner-kids dancing for their food. Well, they were dancing for money, but that money was then exchanged for food (or maybe for portable electronics or drugs). My boss makes me jump through hoops, figuratively, for my food. Why can’t he just give me my food/money without making me do anything in return?
Indian Coast Guard Photo
PORT BLAIR, India - Two days after a tsunami thrashed the island where his ancestors have lived for tens of thousands of years, a lone tribesman stood naked on the beach and looked up at a hovering coast guard helicopter.
He then took out his bow and shot an arrow toward the rescue chopper.
It was a signal the Sentinelese have sent out to the world for millennia: They want to be left alone. Isolated from the rest of the world, the tribesmen needed to learn nature's sights, sounds and smells to survive.
Government officials and anthropologists believe that ancient knowledge of the movement of wind, sea and birds may have saved the five indigenous tribes on the Indian archipelago of Andaman and Nicobar islands from the tsunami that hit the Asian coastline Dec. 26.
"They can smell the wind. They can gauge the depth of the sea with the sound of their oars. They have a sixth sense which we don't possess," said Ashish Roy, a local environmentalist and lawyer who has called on the courts to protect the tribes by preventing their contact with the outside world.
Frozen in the Paleolithic past
The tribes live the most ancient, nomadic lifestyle known to man, frozen in their Paleolithic past. Many produce fire by rubbing stones, fish and hunt with bow and arrow and live in leaf and straw community huts. And they don't take kindly to intrusions.
Anil Thapliyal, a commander in the Indian coast guard, said he spotted the lone tribesman on the island of Sentinel, a 23-square-mile (60-square-kilometer) key, on Dec. 28.
"There was a naked Sentinelese man," Thapliyal told The Associated Press. "He came out and shot an arrow at the helicopter."
According to varying estimates, there are only about 400 to 1,000 members alive today from the Great Andamanese, Onges, Jarawas, Sentinelese and Shompens. Some anthropological DNA studies indicate the generations may have spanned back 70,000 years. They originated in Africa and migrated to India through Indonesia, anthropologists say.
It appears that many tribesman fled the shores well before the waves hit the coast, where they would typically be fishing at this time of year.
After the tsunami, local officials spotted 41 Great Andamanese — out of 43 in a 2001 Indian census — who had fled the submerged portion of their Strait Island. They also reported seeing 73 Onges — out of 98 in the census — who fled to highland forests in Dugong Creek on the Little Andaman island, or Hut Bay, a government anthropologist said.
However, the fate of the three other tribes won't be known until officials complete a survey of the remote islands this week, he said. The government reconnaissance mission will also assess how the ecosystem — most crucially, the water sources — has been damaged.
'Islands of the cannibals'
Taking surveys of these areas is dangerous work.
The more than 500 islands across a 3,200-square-mile (8,288-square-kilometer) chain in the southern reaches of the Bay of Bengal appear at first glance to be a tropical paradise. But even one of the earliest visitors, Marco Polo, called the atolls "the land of the head hunters." Roman geographer Claudius Ptolemaeus called the Andamans the "islands of the cannibals."
Anthropological Survey of India / AP
Three boys from the Jawara tribe in India's Andaman and Nicobar archipelago pose in a photo released by the Anthropological Survey of India.
The Sentinelese are fiercely protective of their coral reef-ringed terrain. They used to shoot arrows at government officials when they came ashore and offered gifts of coconuts, fruit and machetes on the beach.
The Jarawas had armed clashes with authorities until the 1990s, killing several police officers.
Samir Acharya, head of the independent Society for Andaman and Nicobar Ecology, said the Jarawas were peaceful until the British, and later the Indians, began encroaching on their territory. Thousands of bow-wielding Jarawas were killed by British bullets in 1859.
Over the past few years, however, relations have improved and some friendly contacts have been made. The government has banned interaction with the tribes, and even taking their pictures is an offense. Many tribe members have visited Port Blair, capital of the Indian-administered territory, and a few Great Andamanese and Onges work in government offices.
Outsiders are forbidden from interacting with the tribesmen because such contact has led in the past to alcoholism and disease among the islanders, and sexual abuse of local women.
"They have often been sexually exploited by influential people — they give the tribal women ... sugar, a gift wrapped in a colored cloth that makes them happy, and that's it," said Roy.
One of the most celebrated stories of a tribal man straddling both worlds is that of En-Mai, a Jarawa teenager brought to Port Blair in 1996 after he broke his leg. Six months later, he looked like any urban kid, in a T-shirt, denim jeans and a reversed baseball cap. But he is back on his island now, having shunned Western ways.
"He took to the ways ... out of a certain novelty," said Acharya. "It's like eating Chinese food on a weekend."
“The London-based group called for tourists to boycott the road used to enter the reserve of the Jarawa tribe, who number just 403 and are in danger of dying out.”
Presumably, they will kill off the tribe but preserve their dignity while doing so?
Well, I was in Hawaii this year and women are still being lured into dancing and singing for tourists. We need to also shut this down! /sarc.
An Indian co-worker of mine used to tell me there are backward villages in India where women and girls as young as twelve walk around topless. Every year he would visit India, and made some of these villages part of his scheduled visits. The guy had a perverted joy in telling his stories. Other cultures are a tad different than ours.
I always wondered about that myself...
Is it more immoral to “corrupt” a primitive tribe with modern accoutrements and economic opportunities?
Or is it worse to fence off and “preserve” said peoples as living theme park denizens?
What we got here is neither, these people were being kept as the latter but the Indian police responsible for protecting them were easily bribed to drag them out so tourists could feed them and gawk at them. Then again, it may have simply been seen as a business deal on their part. It’s all in the eye of the beholder I guess.
I think it varies, hunter-gatherer people tend to prefer to be left alone, whereas, pastoral nomads and peasant farmers tend to want to find new markets for their wares and modern conveniences to make their lives easier. Some of them become sharp businessmen.
Remember the classic Gary Larsen “Far Side” cartoon: A bone-in-the-nose, grass-skirt headhunter is rushing into his hut yelling “Anthropologists! Anthropologists!” as his family rushes to hide the TV and radio...
As I understand it, the Andaman islanders are the last of the Negritos, who were the very first modern human inhabitants of Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
The two paragraphs do not appear to agree.
A classic example of the odd liberal obsession with the mythically peaceful, usually matriarchal, period in the past of tribal life.
Actual studies of actual tribes, past and present, have shown that almost all of them were wildly more violent than the most violent sections of modern cities.
“Treating people like beasts...”
For that matter, having “beasts” perform for humans is pretty disgusting too. Unless it’s your dog who rather likes doing it.
You are right.
Are these Las Vegas women?
Ah, a wildlife preserve.