The Nicobarese, who call themselves Tokasoto or the people with tiny loincloths, inhabit the island of Car Nicobar situated south of the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. Self proclaimed descendants of the exiles from Burma, the tribe also shares a strong racial affinity with the mongoloid people of other far eastern countries.
Given an existence marked by extreme socio – political turbulence in an inconsistent and unpredictable habitat, the Nicobarese have managed to create a near miracle in their land, whether it is in terms of economic independence or maintenance of their traditional customs and practices.
The film focuses on the sustainable lifestyle, profound wisdom and ancient beliefs of the tribe which, despite various outside influences and pressures, have enabled them to survive the test of the millennia.
The film explores the traditional animist rituals and customs observed by them to protect their island from malevolent spirits, to combat disease and to propitiate the direction of the wind and ocean currents.
The film traces the influence of their habitat, comprising mainly of forest and sea, in every aspect of the culture. Their daily activities are irregular and variable due to the lack of a set pattern or routine. These are captured on film to present some endearing aspects of the tribe that make them stand apart – toddy making, pig rearing along with fishing, repairing of old canoes, houses and other implements are some of the daily chores covered.
The portrayal of Nicobarese family and social structure forms an important part of the film. The customs dictating the affairs of a tuhet or a joint family, essentially the nucleus of a Nicobarese society, are delineated through a local tribal family.