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Sea Gypsies children play on a boat near their home in Celebes Sea or Sulawesi Sea off the coast of Semporna in the state of Sabah on Borneo Island. The Bajau, (also written as Badjao, Badjaw or Badjau) are an indigenous ethnic group of Malaysia and the southern Philippines. Although native to the southern Philippines, due to escalated conflicts in the Sulu Archipelago in the southern part of the country, many of the Bajau had migrated to neighboring Malaysia over the course of 50 years. Groups of Bajau had also migrated to Sulawesi and Kalimantan in Indonesia, although figures of their exact population are unknown. They were sometimes referred to as the Sea Gypsies, although the term has been used to encompass a number of non-related ethnic groups with similar traditional lifestyles, such as the Moken of the Burmese-Thai Mergui Archipelago and the Orang Laut of southeastern Sumatra and the Riau Islands of Indonesia. The modern outward spread of the Bajau from older inhabited areas seems to have been associated with the development of sea trade in trepang.

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_Y8P0881.jpg
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Ahmad Yusni
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Sea Gypsies children play on a boat near their home in Celebes Sea or Sulawesi Sea off the coast of Semporna in the state of Sabah on Borneo Island. The Bajau, (also written as Badjao, Badjaw or Badjau) are an indigenous ethnic group of Malaysia and the southern Philippines. Although native to the southern Philippines, due to escalated conflicts in the Sulu Archipelago in the southern part of the country, many of the Bajau had migrated to neighboring Malaysia over the course of 50 years. Groups of Bajau had also migrated to Sulawesi and Kalimantan in Indonesia, although figures of their exact population are unknown. They were sometimes referred to as the Sea Gypsies, although the term has been used to encompass a number of non-related ethnic groups with similar traditional lifestyles, such as the Moken of the Burmese-Thai Mergui Archipelago and the Orang Laut of southeastern Sumatra and the Riau Islands of Indonesia. The modern outward spread of the Bajau from older inhabited areas seems to have been associated with the development of sea trade in trepang.