The people of Moken gained much media attention in 2005 for predicting the ravaging tsunami which made them preserve many of their tribe.
Moken people are one of the few remaining hunter-gatherers in Southeast Asia. They live on the sea where they source for food from the oceans and forests. Their long stay on the sea had made it easy for them to predict the coming of what they refer to as “laboon, an ancient thing that has swallowed a whole island before.”
Here are some facts about the Moken tribe.
(1) Dive into the Sea without aid to spearhunt fish: The people of Moken are one of the few nomadic fish hunters in the southeast Asia, who still use primitive and odd method of fishing. A unique fact about these people is their ability to dive into the sea, with nothing else but spear to hunt their games.
(2) Ability to See Clearly Underwater: Another of the traits the Moken people has is their ability to see clearly without aid under water. According to a report, Moken children are able to see underwater while free diving than European children as their “special resolution [is] more than twice as good.”
(3) Nomadic Tribes: Moken people are change their home regularly due to trading and epidemics (cholera and smallpox). In order to collect a variety of products to trade and to avoid the spread of deadly diseases. The people curb the spread of epidemic by vacating their region and leaving behind the infected person with small amount of provisions.
(4) Swimming is Essential to their existence: A Moken learns to swim before walking. This shows the extent to which the people of Moken cherish their marine lifestyle. Most Moken spend their daily lives on small, covered wooden boats, called ‘kabang’.
Report shows that “approximately 3,000 Moken live around and on the 800 islands of the Mergui Archipelago along Burma’s southern coast, while an estimated 800 Moken are currently settled in Thailand.”
(5) Subsistence lifestyle: Known for their hunter-gatherer lifestyle, the people of Moken live a subsistence life, taking only the resources they require to Survive. This makes their endeavours less impacting on the natural environment.