The Jarawas are the indigenous tribe of India. They live on South Andaman and Middle Andaman Islands and they are estimated to be between 250 and 400 people today.
Like most tribal peoples who live self-sufficiently on their ancestral lands, the Jarawa continue to thrive, and their numbers are steadily growing.
They hunt pig and turtle and fish with bows and arrows in the coral-fringed reefs for crabs and fish, including striped catfish-eel and the toothed pony fish. They also gather fruits, wild roots, tubers and honey. The bows are made from the chooi wood, which does not grow throughout the Jarawa territory. The Jarawa often have to travel long distances to Baratang Island to collect it.
Both Jarawa men and women collect wild honey from lofty trees. During the honey collection the members of the group will sing songs to express their delight. The honey-collector will chew the sap of leaves of a bee-repellant plant, such as Ooyekwalin, which they will then spray with their mouths at the bees to keep them away. Once the bees have gone the Jarawa can cut the bee’s nest, which they will put in a wooden bucket on their back. The Jarawa always bathe after consuming honey.
Their contact with externals was generally disregarded, and much of their society, culture and customs were not very well known. It helped them kept their traditions. Contacts have increased ever since the 1990s between Jarawa groups and externals.
By the 2000s, in settlements, some Jarawas had become frequent visitors, where they trade, communicate with outsiders, get medics, and even send their children to school.
For a long time, the Jarawas were around. They are believed to be descendants of the Jangil tribe and they’re estimated to have been in the Andaman Islands for over two millennia.
The Jarawas have been culturally as much linguistically as the Greater Andamanese, who over the years have not survived.
The early Jarawa colonizations revealed an early migration of people through south Asia and suggested that genetical similarities with African groups merged.
They are often thought to represent Africa’s first effective tribe. The inference that the Andaman Islanders have been isolated for quite a time is based on any sort of evidence of Jarawas – social, economically, historically, archaeologically, linguistically, phänotypically and genetically, which indicates that despite its modernization they have survived.
The Sentinelese and Onge tribes are one of the three remaining tribes in the area. The triad has a typological — not conceitual — basis, which suggests a historical division of considerable depth, with the Greater andamanese language clade.