Final paper

Final paper - ANTH 263 Boehm In the modern world very few...

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ANTH 263 Boehm In the modern world, very few primitive cultures still exist. With an increasing growth in population as well as the modernization of the world, it is getting harder and harder for these cultures to survive. One of these struggling cultures is the Andaman Islanders. With very few of their people surviving today it is highly possible that some of these indigenous natives will not be around for much longer. It is amazing that although there are very small numbers living in the world today, their customs and ideals are still around. Due to the highly descriptive research of these cultures it is instantly possible to make an almost direct connection between the political behavior of the Andaman Islanders as well as the South American Yanomamo. A.R. Radcliffe-Brown is the author of The Andaman Islanders. He “was the first university trained anthropologist to do fieldwork – anywhere” (Mukerjee: 50).” This was his first anthropological fieldwork assignment which was conducted in 1906 through 1908 and from his groundbreaking research he has opened the world to a whole new perspective on a previously understudied society. At the time of his research many of the Andamanese people were on the verge of becoming extinct and thanks to Radcliffe- Brown’s fieldwork, he was able to step beyond the multiple boundaries and persevere in order to bring this highly informative research to the readers’ eyes. The Andaman Islands are a group of archipelagic islands in the Bay of Bengal in what is known today as India. The people who live on these islands, the Andamanese are not just one group of people; they are broken into four subcultures, The Great Andamanese, Onge, Jarawa, and Sentinelese. Many years ago, individuals who passed these islands had thought that “the people on this coast eat human flesh quite raw; their 1
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complexion is black, their hair frizzled, their countenance and eyes frightful, their feet are very large, and almost a cubit in length and they go quite naked(Mukerjee: xii).” From reading Radcliffe-Brown’s book though, this is proved to be highly inaccurate. What appears to be more truthful is that the Andamanese “lived in a time capsule that preserved the ways of [their] prehistoric ancestors (Mukerjee: xv).” The Andaman Islanders are known as hunter-gatherers. They gain their living by moving from place to place and relying off food from the land and sea. The men usually do the hunting during the day, while the women stay in the village and care for the children or go into the forest looking for plants or seeds. They appear to be quite nomadic and move from campsite to campsite when deemed necessary. As far as social groups go, “a tribe consisted of a number of local groups all
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Final paper - ANTH 263 Boehm In the modern world very few...

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