Sea Gypsies

A very interesting culture in Indonesia is that of the sea gypsy community. These people own no land. They pretty much own nothing except the clothes on their back, a fishing spear, and a small boat if they are lucky. They survive completely from the ocean, eating mollusks and fish they catch with primitive spears or their hands.

Their homes are nothing more than shacks built on stilts on top of a sandy reef, sometimes miles from shore. They don’t mind visitors, but didn’t invite us in for tea.

There are sea gypsy communities throughout southeast Asia. As our oceans are depleted of fish, one has to wonder if these communities will survive.

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