Oraka is a tribal community in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in Netflix’s survival drama series ‘Kaala Paani.’ When LHF-27 disrupts and threatens lives on the islands, the Orakas stay away from the same by leaving their colonies to settle deeper in the woods. While their disappearance is initially seen as their way of escaping from the epidemic, it is later revealed that they have been actually vanishing from the humans who would target them for being immune to the disease. If the Orakas have made you eager to know more about tribal life in the Andaman Islands, here’s what we can share about them!
Are Orakas a Real Tribe?
Oraka is not a real Andaman tribe. The same is fictional and conceived by lead writer Biswapati Sarkar and his team for the survival drama. However, the community is similar to the four tribes that inhabit the Andaman Islands in reality. The Orakas and these four tribes have common ancestors: Africans. As per reports, the forefathers of these tribes arrived on the islands around 65,000 years ago. Out of these four real tribes, the Great Andamanese tribe is closer to the Orakas. Like the fictional tribe, the Great Andamanese tribe has a long history of dealing with severe diseases, including influenza.
Like the loss of land affected the Orakas, the depletion of hunting territory played a part in the reduction of the Great Andamanese population. Although these similarities are unignorable, Sarkar and other writers didn’t create the Orakas as a fictional counterpart of the existing Andaman tribes. Rather, their show explores how a tribe gets affected in the face of adversity in modern times. Fearing exploitation and threat to their existence, the Orakas get forced to move their homes to a secret location, which indicates how the “civilized” become nothing short of a predator in time of need.
The Great Andamanese had to fight for their existence when the British forces tried to occupy their land in the second half of the nineteenth century. Sarkar’s series shows that the same fight is far from over, through the tale of Orakas. The survival drama ends with the Orakas picking up bows and arrows to fight the soldiers who have entered their territory to capture them. Although their fight is fictional as they are, the series authentically portrays how the community is exposed to external threats and potential occupations.
‘Kaala Paani’ can be seen as a homage to the unflinching tale of survival tribes like the Great Andamanese can boast. The show recognizes their history of surviving humans from the outside world and the diseases they brought to the Andaman Islands through the similar saga of the Orakas. Furthermore, the series makes it clear that the aboriginal tribes are the ones who get forced to pay for the actions of men who arrive on the islands, directed by their greed.