the bajau laut are some of the world’s last true sea normads, living as they have for centuries almost entirely in the waters of the coral triangle - “the amazon of the seas” - in stilt houses erected in the ocean shallows. traveling in hand made long boats known as lepa lepa, they visiti the mainland only briefly in order to trade fish for rice, water and other staples.
hunters of fish, pearls and sea cucumbers, the bajau people free dive to depths of 20 meters, hold their breath for up to three minutes, and spend up to 60% of their time in the water submerged - the equivalent of a sea otter. it is a common practice amongst bajau people to intentionally burst their ear drums at an early age to deal with the problem of equalizing.
as photographer james morgan explains, “traditional bajau cosmology - a syncretism of animism and islam - reveals a complex relationship with the ocean, which for them is a multifarious and living entity. there are spirits in currents and tides, in coral reefs and mangroves.“ the bajau people, for example, will not spit in the ocean.
in the last few decades, however, increasingly depleted marine stocks and government efforts have forced many to settle permanently on land and abandon the life of self sufficiency known as cari laut, or searching the ocean. a dwindling few, however, still choose to live and raise families almost entirely at sea.
The Badjao are a sea-dwelling tribe, often known as the “Sea Nomads”, who have been floating off the shores of Southeast Asia for centuries. As a nomadic tribe living in stilt huts or boat houses on shallow waters, they make their living from traditional free-diving for fish and pearls.
Over the years, more and more Badjao people have been lured away from the ocean, migrating to a life on land.
As they belong to no official state and possess no official nationality, they find the move from sea to land a challenge. Because of their nomadic lifestyle, the Badjao are at a disadvantage with no schooling, healthcare or access to government-provided social services.
In the process of adapting to a land-based life, their unique skills in free-diving, along with their in-depth knowledge and understanding
of the ocean, becomes much less relevant. The younger generations have forgotten their ability to dive to the bottom of the reef and walk on the bottom of the ocean.
Many Badjao communities on land live in squalid settlements.
Some Badjao, however, have managed to maintain a sea-faring life and preserve their traditions in the solitude and liberty of living freely and independently on the sea, away from the rules and restrictions that bind those who live on land.
I’ve always thought there was a lot more to Archie and Maxie than meets the eye and I was commiserating on their pasts a few days back and it flowed seamlesslessly from this point.
Archie’s from Pacifilog Town, one of the indigenous sea people like the Bajau and started out as a fisherman who then moved on to becoming a tour guide for people looking to see rare Pokemon in the largest stretch of ocean on Hoenn. He’s very fond of whales, and his favorite whale is Old Gal, an absolutely massive Wailord who’s stuck around him since his teens when he helped free one her calves which was caught in a fishing line.
He knows the seas like the back of his hand and he’s more at home here than on the land, which is when he comes under the employment of Maximus ‘Maxie’, a geologist studying the movements of the tectonic plates around Sootopolis city and making a census of the seafaring tribes in the area who needed a guide and paid Archie for both his intel and use of his ship for several months.
They became good friends over this particular journey, and while Maxie is in awe of Archie’s favorite girl, he’s not quite as enthralled with the idea of more laundry.
“Focused and Calm, Sulbin descends 20 meters to the sea floor. His heartbeats slows to around 30 beats per minute. The pressure in these depths, crushes his chest- squeezing the air in his lungs to 1/3 of the usual volume.”
Trailer : RDV chez les Bajaus en Sulawesi (Indonésie).
Je viens de tomber par bonheur sur une émission diffusée sur France 5 : RDV en Terre Inconnue. Le sujet porte aujourd'hui sur les Bajaus, un groupe ethnique de Brunei, d'Indonésie, de Malaisie Orientale et des Philippines qui font partie des populations qu'on appelle « nomades de la mer ».
Les paysages sont magnifiques, leurs conditions de vies originales et dures. Aux amoureux d'Indonésie, cette émission vous fera voyage loin… très loin.
Par chance, l’émission sera rediffusée le lundi 13 juin prochain à 15h40. Ça vaut le coup de se poser une heure et demi ou bien de programmer son “magnétoscope” (on s'entend bien) pour s'évader un peu.
Hundreds of millions of people gather marine life threatened by changing seas. But the Indonesian village of Sampela depends so thoroughly on troubled coral reefs that climate change and shifting sea chemistry eventually could make it challenging to find food.
I’m not Hawaiian but I am Filipino and my grandmother’s roots tie in with the Bajau people, who are spread across the Pacific Ocean, and I saw so much of history that is similar to mine I just legit started crying. That movie is so beautiful in so many different ways, please PLEASE for the love of all that is holy and good in this world, go watch it