BAJAU LAUT: LAST OF THE SEA NOMADS

The ocean. An enigma, fascinating and terrifying, keeping us alive but quick to kill the careless.

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photo by elia lifflander in Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Who hasn’t dreamed of life on the ocean, whether as a gentle retirement or a pirate fantasy?

Some live this dream, a precarious, vanishing reality.

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photo by prabash livera in Galle, Sri Lanka

A few, growing fewer, have stepped into the ocean entirely, living and dying on the waves. Economic pressures, religious customs, ignorance and great inherited knowledge all combine in the symbiotic lives of the Bajau Laut.

James Morgan has photographed them, creating a beautiful, haunting portrait of their vanishing lifestyle, and what it would take to help them–and the reefs they depend on–survive.

Click the image below to view his gallery:

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