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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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02.24.12         photography  

Moken Village...


This is going to be picture heavy. We all woke up around 530am or 6am, and the sunrises never ceased to amaze us. This particular picture captured it well.
The plan was to visit a village where several Moken Families were currently living. Im not sure its safe to even call it a "Village", but it may be more appropriate to call it a "base camp". Mokens spend the majority of their time on the water, but this is a place where they could rest, do boat repairs, etc.
During low tide, the shore was mostly inaccessible due to coral, so we had to take our rubber raft as close as possible....
....and then walk by foot. I had invested in a pair of nice Keen sandals with protected toe that were perfect for this kind of activity. We were a little concerned about getting our cameras wet, but figured as long as we didn't trip and fall we would be good.
I LOVED LOVED LOVED to see all the different animal life. This Star Fish was crazy looking, with spikes all over it....
Several women of the village were, and many children were out on the low-tide shore to "collect on the strand". The basic idea is that when the tide gets low enough, many different types of clams and shells are easy to grab. The women were pounding on what looked like rocks with these very old knives, breaking coral off.
The tide was so low on this particular part of the shore that it looked like the women were walking on water for several hundreds of yards.
This is what they were collecting...some kind of Oyster. I have no idea what it is.
I had seen several of these white things floating around. Had absolutely no idea what they were, but they felt sorta like an elongated Pringle wafer, with some kind of boney middle. At the time I didn't really think about it, but this will later become significant when I eventually met what is now one of my favorite animals of all time. (Truly amazing) - Here is a hint- this object is called a "cuttlebone".
Some of the children were shy, turning away from the camera, and others were more friendly and engaging.
Here is the front of the village and several little Moken row boats...
This boy was meticulously peeling an apple for breakfast...
Closer view of Moken boats, carved by hand from a single tree....
Some of them were nicer than others as you can see, if I understand correctly, this woman was curing the wood with fire as well as burning out any bugs that might be in it.
Alley of the villiage, most of the homes there were made with wood or thatch...
The beautiful village children....its reasonable to assume the ones with painted Thanaka faces are Burmese, many of which also live in the village. Mokens have a certain kind of look to them, and we didnt see many Mokens in the village.
Such simple and beautiful people & children....
These women were playing dominoes, they were really into it.
There were no facilities or sewage...most of the waste ended up behind the village...
...next to the school. Their current teacher had lived in the village as a child. Children are given the option to go to school or not as they wish. I would say 50% did and 50% didnt.
There was a nearby island that "was full of different kinds of animals, including elephants and monkeys". This boy said he got the monkey from that island. It was a pretty cool little monkey, very chill and calm.
As the tide started to come in, the sea level would rise, allowing the boats to safely leave the shore and allow both Moken and Burmese fishermen access to the ocean to catch / gather food for their families.
We headed back to our diving boat, the "Sae Horse" (Misspelled)...
When finally one of the Moken ships approached....

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