Hard choices in the Andaman Islands in The Nikkei Asian Review

My latest for The Nikkei Asian Review on the plight of the indigenous people of the Andaman Islands in India – The world should reconsider forced assimilation of isolated communities. In late November, an American missionary attempted to bring Christianity to the Sentinelese people, a remote community in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, an Indian […]

Continue Reading

The Tom Vater Collection at the British Library to be digitally preserved

This recording is part of the Tom Vater Collection (C799) at the British Library. A longer extract has been published on The Moken: sea gypsies of the Andaman Sea (Topic Records TSCD919, 2001).  The full collection also includes recordings from India, Laos and Cambodia. It will be digitally preserved as part of the Unlocking our […]

Continue Reading

Apparently deluded author Jared Diamond sells stone dead notion of progress in book about tribal peoples

An interesting article on apparently deluded author Jared Diamond suggesting progress is an element intrinsic to human societies and that “tribal warfare tends to be chronic, because there are not strong central governments that can enforce peace” has been published in The Guardian. Sounds fascist to me and plays right into the hands of absolutist […]

Continue Reading

From the Archives: The Sea Gypsies of the Andaman Sea – A British Library Project

When I first traveled around Asia in the early 1990s, I collaborated with the British Library on a long term recording project of indigenous music from the region. Hundreds of hours of recordings from Pakistan to the Philippines resulted from these travels and they are now deposited with the British Library’s International Music Collection part […]

Continue Reading

From the Archives: Tom Vater’s On the Trail with the Bush Meat Hunters republished

Until very recently the markets of Muang Singh, Luang Nam Tha, Phonsavan and Vang Viang were teeming with live and dead forest animals. Squirrels, civet cats, forest rats, bats, beavers, porcupine and their close relative the ‘sinhawn’ as well as an enormous variety of birds including owls and pheasants were offered from market stalls all […]

Continue Reading

The Moken – Die Musik der Seenomaden Südostasiens auf CDThe Moken – Sea Gypsies of the Andaman Sea – CD by Topic Records (UK)

The Moken – Sea Gypsies of the Andaman Sea ist in Zusammenarbeit mit der British Library bei Topic Records (UK) erschienen. Die Lieder der Moken, der letzten Seenomaden der Andamanischen See, wurden 1999 von Tom Vater auf Ko Surin, einem Inselarchipel vor der Westküste Thailands, aufgenommen. Fotos von Aroon Thaewchatturat. Liner notes von Tom Vater The Moken […]

Continue Reading