I just learned about Boa Sr (Boa Senior, known as chaachii). She was the last surviving Bo-speaking member of the Great Andamanese, a people of the archipelagos in the Bay of Bengal. Even their name is very, very old.

The fragile futures of ancient cultures is complex. This post is only a hushed pause to listen to what may have been humanity’s oldest songs, its oldest poetry, our most primal stories.

I was profoundly touched by the message in the recorded song, above:

The earth is shaking
as the tree falls
with a great thud.

Her song about the shudder of the earth moves me as if it happened inside my own self. Awhile ago, I wrote about something similar in my ongoing story project, I am not actually a butterfly. But in three short lines and a chant, Boa Sr has reached far deeper.

Learn about the work of Professor of Linguistics, Anvita Abbi, on her website, Vanishing Voices of the Great Andamanese.

Reuters article, February 5, 2010
Ancient dialect extinct after last speaker dies

Andaman Islands, India - photo by Venkatesh k

Andaman Islands, India. Photo by Venkatesh k. Click the image to see his photos on Flickr.


Comments are closed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.