How come the name Andaman? Some think that it is derived from Handuman, a corruption of Hanuman, the mythological Hindu monkey -god who, according to one legend, attempted first to bridge the sea from the Andaman Islands. Marco Polo refers to them as Angamanain which is an Arabic Dual, meaning `The Two Andamans’. The Chinese and the Japanse, in AD. first millennium, knew them as young -i’ amang and Andaban.
The religion of the Andamanese has been described by Lt.- Col. Sir Richard Temple, who was Chief Commissioner of these of these islands at the turn of the century, as being `simple animist (which) consists of the evil spirits of the wood, the seas, diseases and ancestors.’ They believe in an anthropomorphic deity called puluga, who brought about the cataclysm which engulfed the islands and separated the population. and hence so many islands.
According to another legend, it was Maia Tomola, the ancestral chief of the nation from who they have all sprung, who dispersed tham after the cataclysm, caused by puluga, because this cataclysm had caused the subsidence of a great part of the islands and divided the land into the present Andaman islands. It had also been responsible for drowning a large number of old inhabitants together with many large and fierce beats who have since disappeared.