Vanishing World of The Sea Gypsy
Last November Krabi Imaging teamed up with Profilm and NUBLA Producciones to film the story of the Thai Andaman Sea Gypsies. We traveled up and down the Andaman coast meeting different Moken people (as they are known). We heard their stories, recorded their music and dance, went fishing and hunting with them, spoke to people who had been affected by their plight, learnt of their incredible skills both underwater and in the jungles of the Andaman Islands. We interviewed anthropologists, authors, reporters, national park rangers and Moken people. What we realised is theirs is a story worth telling.
Today the culture of the Moken people is on the brink of being lost forever. They have been pushed out of their hunting grounds by commercial fishing vessels and national park rangers. Borders that do not exist in Moken have been imposed upon them making it difficult to sail their traditional hunting grounds (such as between Myanmar and Thailand) many staple foods are now listed as protected, and many of the reefs that were once their supermarkets are now protected from all fishing.
The Moken people first came to the attention of the world in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami. Not one single Moken perished in the tsunami and indeed they were responsible for saving the many lives of people that would listen to their warnings. When the Tsunami arrived destroying everything in its path, the Moken had already grabbed their children and run to higher ground, along with anyone who would listen. Since then the Moken people of the Surin Islands have resettled on one of the small sandy bays within the Surin Islands National Park. Their children are being educated via a Thai curriculum and although that may seem a good thing, many of their ancient beliefs and culture are slowly being forgotten.
The Vanishing World of the Sea Gypsy will be released later this year but here is a short trailer……..