They do not nationality, not hold any passport , to ship home , adrift at sea . They have super good underwater vision , is called – Moken .
Sea Gypsy in Thailand’s Andaman coast and Myanmar Mergui archipelago , a number of different tribes live in their way of life , language and culture with other peoples very different in Thailand . Because of their long years of drifting at sea , known as the ” Sea Gypsies . ”
There are about 9,500 sea gypsies , of which about 7,000 people living in Thailand, about 2,500 people live in Myanmar . Moken sea tribe is the most populous one , and now living in Thailand, Surin most of the island .
Excellent underwater vision
Moken very special diving habits . They are good at diving , do not use underwater breathing tubes , goggles , flippers and other modern equipment, while maintaining the most primitive way of diving . They are very good underwater vision , and even about 25 meters under water , aquatic life can not escape their eyes .
Moken have caused the viability of specific Lund University, Sweden Anna Kisling ‘s attention , so she set up a scientific team to conduct field visits on the Moken . Quisling came to Thailand, Surin Island , choose where the Moken children as test subjects .
She found that the underwater eyesight Moken children than the child’s vision of Europe is twice as good , but their differences are not large water vision . Kisling said : ” Most people in the water, or in tears when they are not clear Yingkuang things around , but these Moken children seem to have learned to adjust his eye in the underwater environment adaptation capability, which is very strange . ”
In general , light dark , the pupil will naturally expand to allow more light intake . This reasoning, in the dark underwater environment, the pupil should be expanded . However , changes in the pupil of Moken children is just the opposite .
On land, the Moken children’s pupil diameter is 2.33 mm , which is different from Europe, not the child’s pupil diameter . In the water , Moken children is to contract the pupil diameter to 1.96 mm , while the European children’s pupil but will be expanded to 2.5 mm .
Contraction of the pupil as the camera ‘s aperture to increase depth of field can be as small income , it can be seen more clearly. Moken children is through this ability in the water looking for small clams and sea cucumbers . Some people think that this ability may be genetic causing the problem.
To solve this problem , Gisli said: ” difficult to say which is more important environmental and genetic number , they should also work . We recently had a child in Europe related to training , I hope they can reach and as Moken children Good underwater vision , training has been taken to a certain effect . However, I can not rule out the gene would affect the possibility of learning speed .
In fact, the human ability to adapt to the environment much stronger than we imagine . Moken diving response is an example of human adaptability to living in the Philippine Sea tribes can breath underwater for 6-7 minutes and can dive to 60-70 meters underwater to find pearls . ” Division is the home next to the boat since the Moken excellent underwater vision is probably the result of a long time for the environment , then we come into their lives to see what happens .
Moken sea life for a long time , still no conclusion . Some say hundreds of years , some say a thousand years. Their boat named as next ship , every ship is a Division side Moken people . They carefully decorated their home , boat, bedroom and kitchen . Ingenuity of the Moken people also use woven pandanus leaves, mattress and wardrobe . Moken are very carefully chosen subjects next to the ship’s timber production .
Boatman ‘s life, peace depends largely on whether the boat next to the quality of subjects . In their view, if the subjects next to the boat is not flat wood , boatman will have skin disease . So Moken boats in the system when the majority of subjects will be selected next to tall and straight , without any flaws, the trees were used . Moreover, cutting trees before they will hold a worship ceremony .
Moken are all theists . They believe that God exists in nature , I believe , ” Long Bar ” in the existence of the soul of their ancestors . Moken main ritual is the annual ” Long stick ” Soul Festival . By then, they will not work for three days and three nights , but only singing, dancing and drinking . Wizards of luck for the coming year will also notice . This is a happy occasion , from remote islands to the Moken will visit relatives and friends , celebrate together .
Celebrate the process, the Moken will make a small ship model , let them drift away downstream , representing the drive bad luck . Moken sea men generally responsible for Laoyu , shellfish and sea cucumber task. Although the Moken women’s swimming and diving are also skilled , but they are mainly around the coast , multi- regional pick up rocks or rock seafood .
According to the survey , Moken men than women have shorter life-expectancy , which may carry out their operations at sea the year round adventure . Moreover, there are still some Moken men interested in drugs , which is shortening their life span is another reason . Moken are very industrious , and even older women will often cut mining in the forest pandanus leaves, by soaking , drying , and then leaves woven seats or boxes .
Moken will seek out the shaman when ill . It is said that the shaman can ” speaks ” to pray the gods illnesses . Sick pay or goods to the wizard after the wizard disease will enter the body , relieve symptoms immediately . Moken also picked from the forest to take some herbs . But now, Moken began taking modern drugs , so all kinds of knowledge about herbal medicine is gradually being forgotten .
Lifestyles are changing
Most Moken no identity , no nationality . The Thai government that the Moken are often homeless across the border do not recognize their resident status . Only four or five Moken people of Thailand as has been employed , and work hard , and got the Thai ID card .
However, many children born in the island , for them, Surin Island is their home. Them , or diving , or cooking delicious food , or rest in the branches next to the boat , flies exhilaration . Although sometimes there are some people here in Thailand logging or find some wildlife , but they are very short stay in the island .
The local administration in this one not very ” uninhabited ” areas of implementation of the administration . In 1981 , due to Surin Island, beautiful natural scenery, the Thai government will be designated as the Surin Island National Park . Since then, the Moken quiet life is disrupted .
Some administrative departments, such as Ocean Park Department Forestry Department of Thailand and a number of marine fishery protection agencies have set up offices on the island . They are mainly responsible for the northern Andaman Sea to stop illegal fishing acts . They also believe that Moken sea fishing had destroyed the local environment .
So, they want to change their way of life Moken . Moreover , in order for Moken children about the importance of marine conservation , these agencies also set up a one-room school and the children to provide transportation and lunch to encourage them to come here to learn. Such actions by their agencies to support non-formal education in Thailand , to do some voluntary teachers to teach in this school .
However, the Moken children for this kind of education do not seem to appreciate that they have used their fathers unfettered life at sea . Some children skip school to avoid the boring learning.
National Park, the organization hopes to be able to stop fishing Moken marine resources , but this is not an easy task . Because now, Surin island rich in marine resources have enabled more and more people want to live here, they are no longer moved frequently as before .
Moreover , sea shells and other marine life high price , so Moken took captive marine life has been market for rice or other necessities . In response to this phenomenon, the relevant departments under the State Park , Moken and seeking only the necessary , do not encourage visitors , or middlemen to buy from the Moken , or buy seafood .
In order to Moken to give up fishing , national parks in the tourism peak will often hire Moken in some of the work . However, the tourist season is short , after all , from very limited access to income . In addition to free meals outside , they only get 1-2 dollars per day revenue , it is difficult to maintain their livelihood.
Other people think that , despite the Moken have been caught seafood , but not whether it is over-exploitation . Surin Island, the destruction of the surrounding ecological environment of fishing in Thailand is mainly the result of illegal fishing team , and reef destruction is mainly because cruise ships anchor at random .
They believe that Moken fishing is not real because they are mainly from the reefs and mudflats Department fish, not fishing .