Moken: Sabai | Cat Vinton
2008, Andaman Sea
In the words of Cat Vinton:
I was witness to some of the last years of nomadic Moken existence, a sustainable way of life that is in complete harmony with the rhythm of the sea. The isolated islands, to the south of the Mergui Archipelago in the Andaman Sea, have long been home to the Moken, who have lived here as softly-treading hunter-gatherers for centuries. The ocean is their home and they are much a part of its song as the fish they have traditionally hunted both for sustenance and to be used as barter. Over the past few years it became more difficult for the dwindling numbers of nomadic Moken still clinging to their wandering way of life. Mass fishing and aggressive assimilation policies have firmly pointed them towards land,
rendering them stateless. And they have no voice.
Cat is leading a project to encourage young Moken children to photograph and document their lives, before it disappears without a trace.
We really encourage you to read Cat's beautiful photo-essay on the Moken, which was published by Maptia.
Cat's work depicting the lives of the nomadic Sami reindeer herders can be seen here, on Subject Matter.