Monday, August 24, 2009

Today we are Borneo Sea Gyspsies!


Dr Hulda Clark said...

These peoples are living a hard life. The strength is very high then the other countries peoples.

Robin 'Keiko' Gregory said...

Yes. I was hesitant to post about them, ..but what beautiful people.

(I am thrilled to hear from you, am wearing your zapper! )

There is an interesting article by Antonio Graceffo (Aug'07)on them here:

"One of the smallest ethnic minorities in Asia, The Sea Gypsies were virtually unknown by the outside world until the 2004 Tsunami ravaged South East Asia. One of the most amazing stories reported by the international press was that not one of the Sea Gypsies died. Having lived in close communion with the sea for centuries, the Sea gypsies knew well in advance, when the Tsunami would hit, and they all took refuge in the mountains. Soon after this story broke, international attention was focus on these fascinating people who would have preferred to remain anonymous. Aid began pouring in changing the economic dynamic, as well as the diet of the Mogen. The press came. The Tourists came. And soon, government regulations came, which altered their way of life, forever.

The Sea Gypsies are a nomadic people, who traditionally spend much or all of their lives living on their boats. They inhabit the waters off of Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, and Borneo. Called Chao Lei (or sea people) by the Thais, the Sea Gypsies refer to themselves as the Mogen people. Since the Tsunami, there has been some movement, on the part of the Thai government, to issue Thai citizenship to the Mogen. As a result, the politically correct name for the Mogen has been changed to Thai Mai, or new Thai. Thailand’s Mogen population is centered around three settlements, near Phuket Island. The history of the Mogen people is a bit of a mystery. It is generally accepted that they came originally from Indonesia, although many scholars believe they came from India. They speak a unique language, which borrows heavily from Malay as well as Thai. They have no written language and no recorded history. The Mogen themselves, don’t know the story of their origin. ..."

Larry said...

Your photos are bursting with color action and life!