The Andaman and Nicobar Islands will soon have a unique museum which will showcase objects, artefacts and weapons used by the different tribes that inhabit the islands.
Officials of the Andaman and Nicobar Tribal Research Institute (ANTRI), which was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee last week, are meeting various tribal groups to seek their perspective on what they would like to preserve for posterity.
Officials said the idea is to tell the stories of the tribals from their perspective rather than the perspective of an outsider.
Mukherjee, who was on a two-day visit to the islands, had appreciated the concept of the museum and extended his support to it.
The President had advised ANTRI functionaries to focus on research and study the lifestyle and issues related to tribals.
Suggesting that the tendency to utilise tribal artifacts for commercial production should be avoided, he said the development of this section of population should be carried in a manner which accommodates their wishes and lifestyle.
The Andaman and Nicobar islands are home to a number of tribal groups, the prominent among them being the Great Andamanese, Jarawa, Onge, Sentinelese, Shompens and Nicobarese.
The President said the overwhelming view today is that attempts to assimilate tribal population has failed as it leads to loss of precious tribal communities and stressed that development of tribal population should be in sync with their way of life.
Mukherjee said the culture of Car Nicobar is an instance where the tribals had adopted modernity while still managing to keep intact their glorious heritage and culture.