This project seeks to bring together the investigators' previous research on the Andaman Islands - on indigenous peoples (known locally as 'tribals'), Indian convicts, and Bengali refugees - with a new series of historical studies of the lives and experiences of convict descendents (known as 'local-born') and three groups of forced migrant settlers:

  1. the so-called Bhantu 'criminal tribes' from north India
  2. Karen and Ranchi forest labourers from Burma and India respectively
  3. third, Moplla 'rebel' deportees from south India.

It aims to reveal and to interrogate two sets of historical, social, and economic interconnections:

  • between Andamans communities
  • between the (Andaman) Islands and the (Indian) mainland.

 It will try to understand the historical legacies of how indigenous peoples and settlers of various kinds, with their distinctive historical experiences, relate to each other - and how the social structures of the Islands relate to the Indian mainland. This historical understanding is of enormous interest and relevance to issues faced in the Islands today. It also raises issues of culture, identity, human rights, and social conflicts that have immediate relevance in multi-cultural societies all over the world.


Start date
31 July 2011
End date
29 March 2013
Grant holder
Dr Clare Anderson
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