Anthropological Museum

Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

#Historical and Heritage


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The museum is an epitome of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands culture as it showcases several important things and documents dating back to the time of the original inhabitants of the Islands, prior to the British invasion. It has several things preserved within it that are a proof of the existence and life of the different tribes who inhabited the different Islands largely.

It is an intriguing destination for historians and culture enthusiasts, who love to learn facts about the places they visit.  The variety of things depicted in the Museum bear testimony to the lifestyle, culture and daily utilities used by the Tribes during the early days. Before knowing about the things depicted in the Museum, you must also know about the history depicted by the preserves in the Museum.
 

History of the Anthropological Museum in Port Blair

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, were primarily dominated by four main tribes, judiciously spread across the different sections of the group of Islands. These tribes are known by the names of Jarawas, Sentinelese, Great Andamanese and the Onges which are a part of the Negrito Tribes of Andaman, accompanied by two more Mongoloid Tribes of the Nicobar known by the names of Nicobarese and the Shompens.

This museum being an ethnographic museum, the focus is completely on the tribes who lived in the Andaman, some of which are still living in the denser sections of the different islands. The museum was established in between 1975-76 for the sole purpose of showcasing the cultural phenomena of the group of Islands, based on the people who lived there. 

 

8 Things Depicted in the Anthropological Museum

The Museum is home to many things that link back to the tribes who lived here on this group of Islands. These items preserved in the museum, are live examples of the things used by the tribal people and provide information about how the items affected their lives. Below are some of the items representing the though flow and life of the tribes

1. An ancient Jarawa chest guard with simple geometric patterns drawn on it, depicting a simple jungle life of the Jarawas

2. A skull discovered from the Sentinelese, lean-to or shack, depicts the gothic life led by the Sentinelese tribe


3. The Shamanic sculptures created by the Nicobarese, representing the totemic spirits showcase the religious sentiments and god-fearing nature of the tribes

4. The boats of different shapes and sizes display a life close to the sea and their main mode of travel and communication

5. The coconut or palm tree leaves baskets depict the artistic side of the tribes who believed in creating things that could be of use to carry food or other items

6. The existence of weapons, preserved as artifacts, depict the preparedness of the tribes to face the lingering dangers of the sea and the equatorial forests surrounding them. They also showcase that they believed in hunting to acquire food in the forests

7. The clothing preserved in the museum, show that men and women wore similar attires without displaying the biasness of genders or the extra feeling of shame induced in women

8. Last but not the least, the museum has a well-stocked library which is a source of unending knowledge about the culture, tribes and lifestyle of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

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