The blue waters off the Taninthayi coast of Southern Myanmar are home to a race of people called Salons in the Myanmar language.
Also known as Moken, they are a nomadic people.
Yangon December 27
Ministry of Hotels and Tourism and Taninthayi Region Government will join hands to keep alive the tradition of Moken people, locally known as Salone people, as their population declines and their tradition changes in response to modernization.
Moken people mainly live in Taninthayi Region’s islands in Myanmar, and are nomadic tribe of sea-based culture.
“Their population is small from the beginning. But with the passage of time, their lifestyle has also changed, and they have become modernized while their traditions and customs vanish over the time,” said director U Tint Thwin of Directorate of Hotels and Tourism.
“So, our ministry, Taninthayi Region Government and tour companies will join hands to maintain their tradition by educating them. Our plans include building schools for them, and help them learn their traditions and lifestyles such as underwater diving, fishing and so on,” he said.
The ministry also plans to hold Salone cultural and tourism festivals in order to keep alive their traditions, he added.
“The population of Salone people has declined significantly. This is because of their poor health knowledge, excessive dynamite fishing and drug abuse,” said U Myint Maung, Region Resources and Environmental Conservation Minister.
Thought to have migrated to Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia from Southern China approximately 4,000 years ago, the Moken have traditionally lived on hand-built wooden boats called kabang for most of the year, migrating in flotillas between islands according to factors such as subsistence needs, wind patterns, security concerns and disease.
The Myawady Daily