(Feb. 5, 2010) – Marking the end of a language and an entire people, the last
member of the Bo, an ancient tribe that lived in the Andaman Islands,
When Boa Sr, as she was known, died last week, she
was believed to be about 85 years old. Her husband had died years
beforehand, and Boa, whose name means "land" or "earth" in the Bo
language, had no children.
"She was the only person who spoke Bo," Anvita Abbi, a professor of linguistics at India's Jawaharlal National University, told The Times of London
. "At times, she felt very isolated and lonely as she had no one to talk to in her own language."
Bo are believed to have first come to the Andaman Islands – located
roughly 850 miles off India's east coast in the Bay of Bengal – 65,000
years ago. Bo was one of at least 10 pre-colonial languages spoken on