EXPIRED: 02/01/10 – Boa Sr, 85, was the last of the Bo people of the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. Her name meant “earth” and with her passing, as the only person on Earth to speak her language, marks the complete extinction of a people who are thought to have resided on Earth for at least 65,000 years.
Boa Sr was the only person on the planet who spoke Bo.
According to Survival International, an advocacy group for native peoples throughout the world, the Bo were one of the oldest surviving human cultures on earth. They were believed to have first come to the Andaman Islands – located roughly 850 miles off India’s east coast – 65,000 years ago. Bo was one of at least 10 pre-colonial languages spoken on the islands.
Of the thousands of Great Andamanese who once inhabited the islands, only 52 people are still alive today. But Boa Sr, who also spoke a local dialect of Hindi as well as the amalgam language called Great Andamanese, was the last of her particular tribe.
After the death of her parents, Boa was the last Bo speaker for 30 to 40 years.