The Jarawa people are one of the indigenous peoples of the Andaman Islands in India.

They are believed to be one of the most ancient cultures (their name translates to “people of the earth”) but are now on the verge of extinction with only about 250-400 of the tribe left.

Outsiders do not respect or understand them because the tribe largely shuns social interactions with other groups as part of its culture.

Local residents and international poachers encroach their habitat to take resources or hunt animals need for the people’s survival. Settlers are also known to sexually abuse Jarawa women and girls.

This encroachment by outsiders began in the ’70’s with the construction of a major highway passing right through their forest.

The illegal hunting and gathering by local and foreign poachers is the biggest threat to the survival and self-sufficiency of the Jarawa and could ultimately lead to their extinction as a people.

Author: Yemi Olarinre