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the voyage CONTINUES ... return to main page

The ocean as a place

Outside the west coast of Thailand and Burma is a vast archipelago few people have ever heard about. It consists of about a thousand islands called The Mergui (Myeik). This is the ancient home and last refuge of The Moken People.

image descriptionthe kabang:
we live here
image descriptionthree functions
of the bulb
image descriptionKabang DIY
onwards!

Sailing into Oblivion

The Moken have very few traditional Kabangs left. The reasons are both shocking and sad.

Stolen Jungle

The Moken are being settled into villages by the authorities. National Park regulations and the logging industry prohibit them from harvesting the trees needed to construct new Kabangs. The younger generations of Moken no longer knows the art of building one.

Harassment

The Moken are a humble and peaceful people with no citizenship, and thus no legal rights. In effect, this means they can not bring justice to anyone looking to rob and harass them. It is wise to try and blend in, so local boats like the Longtail are increasingly preferred.
image descriptionwelcome to
bamboo island
image descriptionThe Mergui
onwards!

Just another day

More than 3500 years of drifting on the oceans. What is it that the Moken might still offer us in our fast paced lives that we’ve forgotten about?

Tsunami

When the tsunami hit in 2004, the Moken read the signs and saved lives. Their lore passes on invaluable knowledge of how to be at one with Mother Nature and her forces. Today the swells of fabricated information thrust upon us deprive us of what we essentially need to survive.

Bush Craft

For a Moken landing empty-handed on a desolate island, it would take just a couple of days to settle in with all necessities in place. What the modern world now has to set up as a specialized education: bushcraft, is just another day for the Moken.
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image descriptionWhere have all
the big fish gone?
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onwards!the voyage CONTINUES ...return to start

Stranded

Marine nomadic life is disappearing. Social developments force the Moken to settle on land, and the notion of the Ocean as a place to live is fading, even for the last of who we once were.

Life in the zoo

Today many Moken face being a 5-minute attraction for package tourists passing through. School may be available, but not in their own language. Now that their situation seems irreversible, they welcome offers of improved healthcare and sanitary facilities.

The rock and the hard place

Nobody wants to live as in a museum, and modern life has its advantages. But when the ticket is costing you your identity, it’s hard to enjoy the perks. As the young speardiver Hook says: “If I was given a choice, I would prefer my fathers time”.

One tree can save a culture

One Tree can save the Moken culture! Click here to find out how and be part of it! Or go to What can I do

image descriptionThe Last Kabang on
Surin Island