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“Human safaris” threaten ancient tribe in India

I didn’t know this, but apparently there is an ancient tribe of people in India known as the Jarawa, who had no contact with outsiders for 55,000 years until 1998. Now “human safaris” to observe them are threatening the group with extinction.

Under Indian laws designed to protect ancient tribal groups susceptible to outside influence and disease, photographing or coming into contact with the Jarawa is illegal.

“The Jarawa people lived successfully on their island without contact with outsiders for probably about 55,000 years, until 1998,” Survival’s director Stephen Corry said in a statement.

“They call themselves the Ang, which means human being, yet they are being ogled at like animals in a game reserve.”

Four of the eight travel companies identified by Survival have since removed references to Jarawa tours on their websites, but four have persisted despite government warnings, it said.

The group said the trips put the tribe, thought to have been among the first people to migrate successfully from Africa to Asia, “at serious risk of disease.”

The Jarawa number about 320 and live a nomadic existence in the forests. They are thought to have little or no immunity to common illnesses.

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4 thoughts on ““Human safaris” threaten ancient tribe in India

  1. Hi there! Really loving your history blog. I run a history blog too-www.histatic.blogspot.com-please come check it out and let me know what you think. Maybe you could add a link to mine to your blogroll?

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