Great Andamanese

Great Andamanese is a Negrito tribe dwelling in the Andaman group of islands. Their facial structure is easily differentiated from that of the Negroid people of Africa. They were living at Port Blair and the adjoining areas in South Andamans before the advent of British rule.

Though referred usually as the Great Andamanese, they are classified into two or three groups - the northern and the southern groups with occasionally a middle group additional. Each group has their own language and culture. Most of these sub-groups have died out.

Great Andamanese is now reformed in a small island known as Strait Island, which is about 20 km away from Port Blair. The Administration of Andaman provides them semi-pucca wooden houses with corrugated tin roofs. They consume rice, wheat roti, pulse soup, venison and fish. Sometimes, they go in for hunting and gathering. Certain people cultivate vegetables. Recently, they have created poultry farms.

Similar to the other primitive tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Great Andamanese are in a stage of changeover from primitive life style to modern way of life. An obvious transition has already occurred in their culture and food habits.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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