Monday, September 27, 2021
Andaman and Nicobar

People & Lifestyle


The religion is Animism and consists in fear of the evil spirits of the wood, the sea, disease and ancestors and in avoidance of acts traditionally displeasing to them. There is neither ceremonial worship nor propitiation. An anthropomorphic deity, Paluga, is the cause of all things though acts displeasing to him are avoided for fear of damage to the products of the jungle. Paluga dwells now in the sky but used to live on the top of Saddle Peak, their highest mountain. The Andamanese have no idea of heaven or hell or any idea of a corporeal resurrection in the religious sense. They have much active faith in dreams which sometimes control subsequent  conduct and in the utterances of wise men, dreamers of prophetic dreams. These practice an embryonic magic and witchcraft. There is no oaths, covenants  or ordeals nor any forms of appeal to supernatural powers.

Puluga who is fundamentally to be identified with some definiteness with the storm (Wuluga) mixed up with ancestral chiefs has many attributes of the deity that it is fair to translate the term by God. He has a wife and a family of one son and many daughters. He transmits his orders through his son to his daughters who are his messengers. The two great harmful spirits are Eremchauga of the forest and Juruwin of the sea. Like Puluga, both have wives and families. The sun is the wife of the moon and the stars are their children, dwelling near Puluga. But there is no trace of sun-worship. The people twang their bows and make fun of the moon during an eclipse while a solar eclipse keeps them silent through fear.


The Andamanese languages are extremely interesting from the philological stand point on account of their isolated development. They exhibit the expression of only the most direct and simplest thought. An Andamanese will manage to convey his meaning without employing any of the subsidiary and connecting parts of speech. He ekes out with a clever mimicry a great deal by manner, tone and action and this habit he exhibits abundantly in the form of his speech. Narration is nevertheless clear and not confused.