Borneo: Mabul island and sea gipsies

August 31, 2013 § 7 Comments

Bajau, also known as sea gipsies, are an indigenousethnic group of Maritime Southeast Asia, leading a seaborne lifestyle. These photos are taken around Mabul island (Malaysia), where some of Bajau people live in the boats or small tilt houses built on the beach or coral reef.

Bajau man can go as deep as over 20m underwater on one breath and stay there for a few minutes to catch the fish for dinner or look for pearls. After spending some time on solid ground, some of Bajau say they start to feel “land sickness” and hurry to go back to the water.

There are around 410 000 Bajau living in Sabah, Malaysia, but the number is going down, as more and more of them are moving to live on land voluntarily or forcibly.

Also, there are new fancy resorts being built around islands, where Bajau live, making them feel unwelcome around.

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