Inside the fascinating world of the nomadic ‘sea gypsies’ who spend their lives on water and have no citizenship
THESE fascinating images reveal what life is like for the Bajau people – a nomadic tribe who spend their lives on the water.
The group have been dubbed “sea gypsies” thanks to the fact they continue to live a seaborne lifestyle.
The striking images – taken by photographer Claudio Sieber – show youngsters out catching fish in long narrow canoes.
He took the pictures off the coast of Borneo where the Bajau are able to dive up to 20 metres without the use of modern scuba gear.
They even reportedly experience land sickness when they leave the water.
Claudio, 36, who is from Switzerland, said the community there rely “soley on the ocean”.
His images show one man making his own boat without any instruction and two men building a new stilt house in the water.
Claudio said: “Most of the Bajau I spoke with have no citizenship and therefore no rights to settle ashore, nor will they ever be able to send their kids to Malay schools, where a Malaysian identity card is needed for educational access.
“For the Bajau, life on the water is just a part of who they are. Living in marine homes above shallow waters the Bajau gather in off-shore communities which rely solely on the ocean.
“Their isolation has allowed them to continue a simple way of life that their ancestors led. A lot of the Bajau I’ve met are here by choice, the choice to live in the middle of nowhere.”