Morgan Village article



***** Morgan Village *****



                 In the Eastern Indian Ocean there is a tribe of nomads who live on boats, wondering through the islands off the coastline.  They live by collecting shells from the water and by fishing.  The tribe was called " Chao Lay " or Sea Gypsies by those who met them.The Sea Gypsies who live in Mu Ko Surin call themselves    " Morgan "

This come from " Oken "  which means salt water.  Most of the Moken live among the islands north of the Thai-Myanmar border, few live in Thailand.  These live in Phuket, Phang-nga, and Ranong province.In the monsoon season, between May and November, the Moken live on the beaches of islands to escape the storms.  They build a temporary house during this season and live on the boats during December to April when the seas are calmer.One Moken family will live on one boat.  The boats travel as a group like a flotilla.  If a Moken couple fall in love, the man will take a gift of betel nut or betel pepper in a dish made from a coconut shell to the girls parents to ask for her hand in marriage.  Then the man will have to build a new boat, where he will builds his own family.During the first full moon of April, the Moken hold “ Loy Rue “ (Boat floating).  This is ceremony to respect the spirit which protect the Moken and dispell illfortune and keep the tribe safe and healthy.

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From : Mukosurin National park


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