Introduction / History
The Jarawa tribe can be found in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Indian Ocean and belong to India. They are hunters and gatherers. They have mostly avoided contact with others. The name Jarawa means hostile people or foreigners in Aka-Bea.
The Jarawa are the indigenous people where they live. They have a great respect for their environment. Their numbers are lessening and that means that their culture is a dying out as there are not many of them.
The Jarawa are said to be descendants of the Jangil tribe who are extinct, supposedly in 1931.
The Indian government set aside a region for the Jarawa but as more of their land was being used for roads and mainland migrants, the size of the region became less. The Jarawa have to go into deeper and smaller places in the forest. Settling migrants by clearing their forests, sending them to other places to live as well as the new way of life are said to have had an impact on their health.
Contact with people they are not used to has caused diseases they could not fight against, such as measles in 1999 that caused the death of about ten percent of them. Alcoholism, diabetes, obesity and depression, among other problems, are now being found among them.
The Jarawa who have always lived in their home in the rainforest are close to their environment and hunt wild pigs, fish and collect berries and fruit.
The Jarawa are classed as a Scheduled Tribe.