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In Pictures
In Pictures: Indonesia's nomadic sea gypsies
The Bajau are sons of the sea, but now their way of life is threatened because of overfishing.
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2012 13:35

The Bajau Laut have lived on the sea for centuries, but now the culture of these nomadic ocean dwellers is threatened because of overfishing.

They live on boats or in stilt villages out at sea off the coast of southern Sulawesi Island. As a consequence of extensive fishing, the ocean can no longer support the Bajau's unique aquatic way of life.

The "sea gypsies" are well known for being excellent free-drivers, going up to 20 metres deep and holding their breath for as long as five minutes. When they are young, boys have their eardrums pierced so they will not burst later from water pressure while diving.

The Bajau are Sunni Muslims, but many still believe in the spirit of the world sea.

With an estimated population of 800,000, the various Southeast Asian nomadic sea tribes range from the Philippines and Malaysia, through eastern Indonesia and all the way up of Myanmar.


Brian Orland/Al Jazeera
A firewood collecting team returning home in a traditional Bajau sampan. Duties are split. One steers while the other bails the boat.


Brian Orland/Al Jazeera
In the Bajau community of Sampela, afterschool chores include helping brothers prep octopus for the wholesale market.


Brian Orland/Al Jazeera
A lady Bajau fish broker from Sampela eyes the local market crowd for potential customers, interested in the reef fish she has to sell.


Brian Orland/Al Jazeera
Octopus, caught with homemade iron and wood spearguns, serves as tuna bait for Bajau fishermen in Wakatobi.


Brian Orland/Al Jazeera
Fishermen raft up to share smokes before chasing a school of tuna.


Brian Orland/Al Jazeera
A Bajau fisherman sporting homemade goggles.


Brian Orland/Al Jazeera
Ladies from Sampela pole their way home from a nearby island with the morning's haul of firewood for cooking fires.


Brian Orland/Al Jazeera
Boats are parked in front of stilt houses, two to three deep, in front of the Wangi-Wangi island Bajau community of Mola.


Brian Orland/Al Jazeera
Bajau sisters spend a weekend afternoon playing mancala in a stored boat under their family home.


Brian Orland/Al Jazeera
Preteens at Sampela middle school strum a traditional Bajau tune.



images:
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captions:
A firewood collecting team returning home in a traditional Bajau sampan. Duties are split. One steers while the other bails the boat.;*;In the Bajau community of Sampela, afterschool chores include helping brothers prep octopus for the wholesale market.;*;A lady Bajau fish broker from Sampela eyes the local market crowd for potential customers, interested in the reef fish she has to sell.;*;Octopus, caught with homemade iron and wood spearguns, serves as tuna bait for Bajau fishermen in Wakatobi.;*;Fishermen raft up to share smokes before chasing a school of tuna.;*;A Bajau fisherman sporting homemade goggles.;*;Ladies from Sampela pole their way home from a nearby island with the morning\(***)s haul of firewood for cooking fires.;*;Boats are parked in front of stilt houses, two to three deep, in front of the Wangi-Wangi island Bajau community of Mola.;*;Bajau sisters spend a weekend afternoon playing mancala in a stored boat under their family home.;*;Preteens at Sampela middle school strum a traditional Bajau tune. Daylife ID:
1349341329437
Photographer:
Brian Orland;*;Brian Orland;*;Brian Orland;*;Brian Orland;*;Brian Orland;*;Brian Orland;*;Brian Orland;*;Brian Orland;*;Brian Orland;*;Brian Orland
Image Source:
Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Bajau photoshttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437en-usAl Jazeerafeedback@daylife.com10Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:02:50 GMTThu, 04 Oct 2012 09:15:58 GMT http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=0cmzfUfe2R02wA firewood collecting team returning home in a traditional Bajau sampan. Duties are split. One steers while the other bails the boat.Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:03:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=0cmzfUfe2R02wBrian OrlandAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesA firewood collecting team returning home in a traditional Bajau sampan. Duties are split. One steers while the other bails the boat. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=077r4F0fbB8HeIn the Bajau community of Sampela, afterschool chores include helping brothers prep octopus for the wholesale market.Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:04:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=077r4F0fbB8HeBrian OrlandAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesIn the Bajau community of Sampela, afterschool chores include helping brothers prep octopus for the wholesale market. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=08TW4NV2KZdyjA lady Bajau fish broker from Sampela eyes the local market crowd for potential customers, interested in the reef fish she has to sell.Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:04:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=08TW4NV2KZdyjBrian OrlandAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesA lady Bajau fish broker from Sampela eyes the local market crowd for potential customers, interested in the reef fish she has to sell. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=05fd4l12gZ1nd

Octopus, caught with homemade iron and wood spearguns, serves as tuna bait for Bajau fishermen in Wakatobi.

Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:05:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=05fd4l12gZ1ndBrian OrlandAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Octopus, caught with homemade iron and wood spearguns, serves as tuna bait for Bajau fishermen in Wakatobi.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=0e1H62515Lg6GFishermen raft up to share smokes before chasing a school of tuna.Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:05:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=0e1H62515Lg6GBrian OrlandAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesFishermen raft up to share smokes before chasing a school of tuna. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=0aBr8E0gbbdRGA Bajau fisherman sporting homemade goggles.Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:05:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=0aBr8E0gbbdRGBrian OrlandAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesA Bajau fisherman sporting homemade goggles. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=0gxk2nD9Nl68n

Ladies from Sampela pole their way home from a nearby island with the morning's haul of firewood for cooking fires.

Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:05:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=0gxk2nD9Nl68nBrian OrlandAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Ladies from Sampela pole their way home from a nearby island with the morning's haul of firewood for cooking fires.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=0dr31g5eL6fZqBoats are parked in front of stilt houses, two to three deep, in front of the Wangi-Wangi island Bajau community of Mola.Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:06:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=0dr31g5eL6fZqBrian OrlandAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesBoats are parked in front of stilt houses, two to three deep, in front of the Wangi-Wangi island Bajau community of Mola. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=0ei5gRB4HA1GbBajau sisters spend a weekend afternoon playing mancala in a stored boat under their family home.Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:06:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=0ei5gRB4HA1GbBrian OrlandAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesBajau sisters spend a weekend afternoon playing mancala in a stored boat under their family home. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=03FY7zQgGR6v2Preteens at Sampela middle school strum a traditional Bajau tune.Thu, 04 Oct 2012 09:06:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1349341329437?image_id=03FY7zQgGR6v2Brian OrlandAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesPreteens at Sampela middle school strum a traditional Bajau tune.


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