Saturday, March 05, 2005

Andaman's Going Back to Normal

A flurry of wire service activity about the Andaman Islands, like this story about how the Onge tribe not only survived 100% intact but grew their numbers by one when a woman gave birth days after the disaster struck, and this story about the potential positive effects of the tsunami, which could find the Onge returning to their traditional hunter-gatherer way of life.

Interesting to read that even the Onge can trace great big chunks of misery back to the British rule. Brits brought them penal colonies, transplanted mainlanders, alcohol, and - as always - dependence on the British. Yikes!

The Onge now are apparently interested in going back to the way they lived before intrusion, before their gov't-built housing plans, etc. It's thought it might help the widespread depression amongst the people that's deeper and deeper amongst the tiny population (97, I believe). It reminds me so much of the theory that Stonehenge was a monument built by a prehistoric British leader to show the SUN to be on equal footing (gods-wise) with the MOON; that sun life, agrarian farming, was equally worthy as moon-life, night-time hunting. According to the theory, the people were deeply depressed by the cultural memories of what you might call night life - the excitement of the hunting life; the pride of it. And agrarian life made more sense logically, but had no religious/ceremonial backing to it: Thus Stonehenge, a monument to the moon (at least in this theory).

Kind of horrible to think that maybe our whole problem as a human race is that we should be wearing loincloths and spearing deer rather than blogging. Yet so obviously true.


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