The Science of Consciousness




Chapter - 4: Traits in Andamanese

In geological past, some far disconnected lands of today, due to a wide sea between them, were joined by the land bridges or narrow passages of lands. Through such connections animals could migrate between North America and Asia. At times, however, continents or large land segment may remain cut-off from one another due to the absence of land bridges. Australia, for instance, was cut off from Asia for the last 98 million years till man put his foot on the continent no earlier than a hundred thousand years ago. Populations in such cut-off lands are static and undergo virtually no evolution. These constitute relict or fossil populations. Such relict populations are invaluable because the life of past is available in the present for study and analysis.

 Isolation of Andaman lslands from the nearest land is for about fifty thousand years since its endemic aborigines were marooned there due to rise sea level. They preserve fifty thousand years old human consciousness for our study due to isolation after the land bridge between Myanmar (Burma) and Andaman Islands submerged.

The warm, humid and rainy Andaman Islands form a nearly three hundred kilometers long chain of several islands around 93°E between 10°N and 14°N. Three of them are more extensive and may at times reach 50 kilometers in width. The nearest mainland for the people of the islands is Myanmar to the north - 300 kilometers away.

Andamanese people had no communication with the rest of humanity till British reached there during last century. Their date of migration and entrapment is established through a study of the stone implements. Paleolithic tools scattered all over the Andaman do not relate to the Upper Paleolithic flake type implements. The author discovered a heap of these tools   in March 1992 on the southern tip of Guitar Island. The tools are primitive flake type as well as massive semi flake type and include a variety of chopper, scrapers, diggers and some spears. All the illustrated and observed material of Guitar Island belongs to the Moustarian Industry of the Middle Paleolithic (32000-75000 Years before present). There are only two major sea-level falls during the Middle Paleolithic, one around 70 and the other around 55 thousand years ago. Migration of aborigines from Myanmar (Burma) to Andaman Islands ties with the sea level fall 55 Ka (Kilo-anum: thousand years). Their marooning in the islands fixes with the sea level rise between 50 and 40 Ka.

Andamanese are a dwarf people, often figuring as a racia1 or semi-racial type called Negrito. Their average height is 149 cm and 140cm for males and females respectively. They weigh 44 and 42 kilograms.

A survey of pattern of emotion among the Andamanese suggests that all normal perception and expressions of our species have developed among them before their migration, i.e. before 55 Ka. Further, their emotion related to slyness, guilt and jealousy are feeble and detectable only in their eyes. Face remains mostly expressionless. In personal life they do not observe any abstentions but endurance for fasting is seen among them during journeys. They are also taught early to be generous and self-denying. These people   present the best they possess. Traditionally they love justice, fairness and implementation of fair justice.

"A man becomes spirit after death" is a usual phrase in the Onge language suggesting their staunch belief in after-life and rebirth. Rituals and rites for the dead are elaborate and a mother follows them specially in the event of the death a young one with a view to ensuring the return of the soul of  child to her womb in it’s next life. They believe in a monotheist Puluga that is possibly the same as Vedic Purukha - the Creator. Fables and stories about the Puluga and his wife are current among these men. As they say “he is angered by the commission of certain sins and he is the judge from whom each soul receives its sentence after death". There is an equally strong belief in continuance of fruits of action of this birth into the next birth. In addition to Puluga there are spirits of varied types in which people depose strong faith. These are benevolent, malevolent, neutral and triggering monsoon winds. 

 Intelligence potential of Andamanese compares well with the modern person suggesting that basic human equipment of memory and intelligence has not changed during the last fifty thousand years.

Language of Andamanese serves as an invaluable tool to fix their affinity as well as to confirm the antiquity of their date of migration. There is no tie up of basic relational words like father, mother, son and daughter between Andamanese and languages of Indian-mainland. This, however, is equally true about languages like Sanskrit, Bhojpuri, Mundari, Khasi etc., all spoken in India. Andamanese nouns, nevertheless, either as such or in syllables of the longer words in the Indian continent, show commonness with Indian languages. There are a good number of words suggesting that Andamanese language has worked as a root language for advanced languages like Sanskrit, Latin and Greek besides having a closer affinity with Bhojpuri, Assamese, Khasi and Bengali. Their vocabulary, however, is too old and has been absorbed in younger languages of Indian main land, leaving only a few words to survive with independent identity.  Evaluation of inter-relationship between languages also suggests that the Andamanese migrated out of India before 45 Ka.

Andamanese population exhibits a classical fossil consciousness, which demonstrates that basic human mind with optimal intelligence, low logic and good memory had evolved before fifty thousand years ago. Their faith factor, however, is slightly high due to poorer logic and strongly conditioned minds to believe in the traditions and statements of elders.