White Lotus. 8.2 x 11.2", 171 pp., 56 color and 84 b/w illustrations, paper, Bangkok, 1999. Item #15430
This book is the first comprehensive study of the boats of the Sea-Gypsies of the Andaman Sea from Surin Island in Southern Thailand to Ross Island in Burma. The traditional Moken boat has been the cause of wonder for scholars, English administrators, and sea captains. How could such a remote and 'uncivilized' people have developed such impressive naval technology? The discrepency between the level of culture and the high degree of technical skill in boat building is not surprising if we look deep inside the nomadic ideology of the Moken: their techniques cannot be understood without reference to their cultural and symbolic contexts. This study provides all the necessary technical tools and symbolic knowledge to understand how the Sea-Gypsies still survive today in their amazing boat, the kabang. This book also provides an English-French glossary of Moken marine terminology, and a glossary of identifying plants based on an extensive survey of flora of the region where the Moken live.
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