Ancient tribe becomes extinct as last member dies





The last member of an ancient tribe that has inhabited an Indian island chain for around 65,000 years has died, a group that campaigns for the protection of indigenous peoples has said.

Boa Sr, who was around 85 years of age, died last week in the Andaman islands, about 750 miles off India's eastern coast, Survival International said in a statement.

The London-based group, which works to protect indigenous peoples, said she was the last member of one of ten distinct Great Andamanese tribes, the Bo.

"The Bo are thought to have lived in the Andaman islands for as long as 65,000 years, making them the descendants of one of the oldest human cultures on earth," it noted....

There were believed to be 5,000 of them when the British colonized the archipelago in 1858. Most of those tribal communities were subsequently killed or died of diseases, says Survival International....

"Boa's loss is a bleak reminder that we must not allow this to happen to the other tribes of the Andaman islands," Survival director Stephen Corry said in the statement. Andaman and Nicobar Islands authorities put at least five tribes in their list of vulnerable indigenous communities....

Among the tribes are the Sentinelese, who inhabit a 60-square-kilometer island.

Officials believe the group is probably the world's only surviving Paleolithic people without contact with any other community. They said the Sentinelese are very hostile and never leave their Island. Very little is known about them....


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