The Land of Naked People by Madhusree Mukerjee
Encounters with Stone Age Islanders

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On a lush, remote island, modern civilization has recently made contact with what may be the last group of Stone Age people. The Sentinelese wear no clothes, do not know how to start a fire, and have fervently rejected the intrusion of outsiders. But that is changing, writes Madhusree Mukerjee, who has had exceptional access to that island and the others that make up the Andaman chain in the Bay of Bengal.
Over seven years, Mukerjee found that other aboriginals on the islands have abandoned their ancient ways for enticements such as motorcycles and plastic toys. The price: outsiders have taken critical land, introduced serious diseases, and left the natives with a broken sense of self. This book offers unprecedented insights into the processes of colonization and modernization, the persistence of harmful myths about “savages,” and the perennially fraught relationship between light- and dark-skinned peoples.
Mukerjee gives us a fascinating look at a world nearly gone. Combining anthropological findings with historical accounts and personal travel stories, she lets us glimpse a primeval, disappearing humanity.

About Madhusree Mukerjee

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Madhusree Mukerjee, a native of India, won a Guggenheim fellowship to write The Land of Naked People. She previously served on the board of editors of Scientific American
Published August 1, 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 288 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction

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One tribal member spoke with the author about their poverty, explaining that a welfare staff appointed by the Indian government keeps chickens, but no chickens are given to the Onge, who also receive no money for their land or the logging of their island timber.

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Publishers Weekly

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The Andaman Islands, a remote archipelago in the Bay of Bengal and now a territory of India, is home to four dwindling tribes: the Great Andamanese, the Onge, the Jarawa and the Sentinelese.

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