First time in the Indian History, Shompens cast their votes for Lok Sabha elections
For the first time in the Indian history Shompens cast their votes to elect for the Lok Sabha constituency of Bay Islands for Lok Sabaha election 2014. About 60 Shompens cast their votes at polling station put up in the inner jungle in Great Nicobar Biosphere reserve.
27 polling teams were positioned to man 21 polling stations in Great Nicobar. Conducting polls in the island is a gainsaying job as many of the polling stations can be only reached via boats and dinghies under fierce sea conditions, whilst few are within the thick forest where even vehicles cannot go.
- Believed to be one of the last surviving stone-age tribes and living in Great Nicobar.
- One of the 6 tribes that inhabit the forest in the southern-most tip of the India.
- Classified as primitive tribal group along with the four other tribes – Jarawa, Andamanese, Onge and the Sentinelese.
- Population: Only 229 (2011 census)
- Have very limited contact with outsiders and live in about 12 habitations made of bamboo and leaf thatch.
- Not as well-known like the Jarawas of the Andaman islands.
- While the Jarwas are a negrito tribe, the Shompens are of Mongoloid stock.
- Like the Jarawa they are skilled hunter-gatherers but unlike them raise plantations of various crops and subsist primarily on them, besides honey and fish.
- Main weapons are the bow and arrow.