History of Zonal Anthropological Museum
The Zonal Anthropological Museum in Port Blair was established in 1975. It is one of the best museums in town to visit. It is a well maintained museum hat offers in-depth knowledge about the indigenous tribes, marine life, and history of the island. These tribes are believed to be one of the oldest in the world. The islands have six main tribes native to this place, Onges, Sentinelese, Jarawas, Andamanese, Shompens and Nicobarese. These tribes maintain limited contact with the world, and not a lot is known about them.
Collections at Zonal Anthropological Museum
Attracting thousands of visitors every month, the Zonal Anthropological Museum in the islands has a rich collection of artifacts of the Negroid tribes - the earliest inhabitants of the Andaman Islands, along with those of two Mongoloid tribes of the Nicobar Islands. The museum has a huge collection of rare articles, handicrafts, tools, art and craft, implements, photographs, etc., which describe the life during the tribal eras. There are some articles which throw light on the cultural beliefs and traditions of the tribe.
Tribal lifestyle demonstrated at the Museum
Andaman and Nicobar Islands was mainly inhabited by the Negroid tribes, among which Orenge, Sentinelese, Jarawas and Andamanese are most commonly found. They inhabited the land from the prehistoric age and led a life of nomadic in the region. Their nomadic lifestyle has been vividly put on display in the Zonal Anthropological Museum. Along with them, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands were also inhabited by two types of Mongoloid tribes, who mainly centred in the Nicobar Islands. These are the Shompens and the Nicobarese.
Photographs displayed at the Museum
Zonal Anthropological Museum along with the articles also has a wide range of photographs taken in different periods. These depict the structure of the houses, utensils, ornaments and day to day goods used by these tribes, thus providing a good insight into their lifestyle. The museum also exhibits some rare artifacts of the tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands which are nearly 500 in number. Around 75 photographs with 5 maps and charts also make up the rich repertoire of the museum. People who are interested to visit the museum may visit between 9 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4.30 p.m., all throughout the year daily except on Thursdays and public holidays when it remains closed.
Library at the Zonal Anthropological Museum With the collection of more than 5000 books and journals of national and international repute on Anthropology and related disciplines, it is a paradise of the serious readers having interest on life and culture of people of India.
With nearly 100 rare photographs and several artifacts including models homes, tribal weapons, tools, clothes, and even charts on the island, the Zonal Anthropological Museum is the go to place in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is a great attraction for those who want to gain in-depth insight into the lifestyle of the nomadic tribes of the Islands, along with their phase by phase evolution and development till the present time.