Voices from the Lost Horizon: Stories and Songs of the Great Andamanese

Paper Type: 130 gsm Art paper (matt) | Size: 242 mm x 178 mm
All colour; 70 photographs; 176 pages; Hardback
ISBN-13: 978-93-91125-06-6

 995
 

The Andaman Islands—Great Andaman, Little Andaman, and North Sentinel Islands have been home for milleniums to four tribes: the Great Andamanese, Onge, Jarawa, and Sentinelese. Their languages are known by the same name as that of the tribes. ‘Great Andamanese’ is a generic term representing ten languages among a family of languages that were once spoken by ten different tribes living in the north, south, and middle of the Great Andaman Islands. These languages were mutually intelligible like a link in a chain.

However, today, Great Andamanese is a moribund language of the only-surviving pre-Neolithic tribe, breathing its last breath. When a language is on the verge of extinction, its history, culture, ecological base, knowledge of the biodiversity, ethno-linguistic practices, and the identity of its community—everything is endangered. This is what prompted Prof. Anvita Abbi to conduct a research study to give life to the lost oral heritage of the vanishing world of the Great Andamanese.

Voices from the Lost Horizon is a collection of a number of folk tales and songs of the Great Andamanese. These stories and songs represent the first-ever collection rendered to the Prof. Abbi and her team by the Great Andamanese people in local settings. The compilation comes with audio and video recordings of the stories and songs to retain the originality and orality of the narratives. 



Anvita Abbi
Anvita Abbi
Author

Professor Anvita Abbi is a distinguished researcher on minority languages and perhaps the only one in the Indian subcontinent who has done first-hand field study on all the six language families from the Himalayas to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

During her studies in 2003–2004, she identified a new language family of India—the Great Andamanese, which was corroborated in 2005 by population geneticists. Her pioneering work was recognized by the Government of India and she was awarded the Padma Shri in 2013. In 2015, she received the Kenneth Hale Award, most prestigious in the field of linguistics, for her outstanding contribution to the documentation and description of Indian languages, from the Linguistic Society of America, where she was also elected as an honorary member.

Prof. Abbi taught linguistics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University for 38 years and was the President of the Linguistic Society of India, and has been invited as a visiting professor and researcher at prestigious institutions in the USA, Europe, Canada, and Australia. She served long as an expert from the UNESCO on issues concerning languages. She has 22 books to her credit, including the Dictionary of the Great Andamanese Language. English-Great Andamanese-Hindi (2011) and A Grammar of the Great Andamanese Language: An Ethnolinguistic Study (2013).



 


 

Folktales & Songs of Great Andamanese: A Series (Song 10)
Folktales & Songs of Great Andamanese: A Series (Song 1)
Folktales & Songs of Great Andamanese: A Series (Song 2)