Stunning Images Of Bajau Laut, The Sea Gypsies Nomadic Tribe Living On Water

family bungalow
fairuz othman | Flickr

Have you ever been in the South Pacific? Did you know that there are people on this world that live on the ocean, stateless and dependant on water. The are originally from the Sulu Archipelago in the Philippines and you can find them also off the coast of Borneo, emigrated from the original place due to the conflicts in Muslim Mindanao.

They are the Bajau Laut, nomadic tribe also called sea gypsies. They have no citizenship and no rights to schools and any other public facilities and services. Everything we do in our “sweet house” they do it on boats and water is their resource and ground. They are masters of the sea and exceptional divers and fishermen (could it be differently)?

sea gypsies landscape
johnjodeery | Flickr

In our modern society, this tribe and their “old-fashioned” life style still exist and it’s fascinated how they can still survive in a society where almost nothing is accessible if not granted by the governments and doesn’t follow the sometimes – if not frequent – cumbersome long bureaucracy. In a society where you are no one and you can’t have nothing if you are not also a “number” written in piles of papers – unless you like living like an “outlaw” (can you prove the contrary?) – they are still there.

bajau laut living on water
johnjodeery | Flickr

But despite their “resistance to the system”, this tribe is disappearing due to the lack of trade and food resources – that’s why many of them are moving closer to the mainland for work – maybe they too, are attracted by the many comforts and vanity the modern society may offer (Ed.).

So today we would like to show you some emotional photos of this tribe, as long as there are some tracks of them, before they disappear for good.

family preparing evening meal
johnjodeery | Flickr

A sea gypsies family is preparing some food at their house on the water.

woman and kid while cooking
johnjodeery | Flickr
sea gypsies family on boad
johnjodeery | Flickr



Bajau Laut spend their lives on water: they live, work, cook, eat, play and sleep on the ocean and not anyone would be able to do so.

water house resists the sea
johnjodeery | Flickr

Despite the house looks like so defenceless, it’s incredible how they can resist to the water so well. Sometimes it seems our “rich” houses are worse then theirs.

gyps sea in house on water
udeyismail | Flickr
bajau laut kids in floating village
udeyismail | Flickr

Can kids have fun living this life style? Apparently they can and have no problem with that.

young sea gypsies playing on water
udeyismail | Flickr
young sea gypsies play in water
udeyismail | Flickr

Can our kids handle a boat alone?

bajau laut kids on boat
udeyismail | Flickr



…and they actually look happy to live their lives, at least apparently.

old bajau laut paddling
hazize san | Flickr
protrait old man on boat
hazize san | Flickr

No matter how old they are and whatever the gender is: men, women, young girls, kids, etc.

old woman working
hazize san | Flickr
young girl painted face
hazize san | Flickr

Would you like to see them in action? This video will show you their life and outstanding abilities into the sea:

How long will they exist? Are they destined to extinction? Would you live like them? Time will answer our questions.


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