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Number of Salon people in Myeik archipelago becoming less and less

There are only 1786 Salon people in Myeik archipelago and government must made effort to protect them and their survival according to Salon people.

Salon people or sea gypsies are now mostly be seen in Myeik district, and Kawthaung district in southern Taninthayi Region. The number of Salon people is gradually decreasing as well as their customs and culture. At present, there are only 11 islands where Salon people reside. Salon people are adept at fishing, diving and swimming, and are able to hold their breath underwater for minutes at a time to pursue fish, squid, clams, sea cucumbers, oysters and shells.

“Government must do research to protect the lives of Salon people. In religious point of view, Nat Saya or Spirit-Medium are getting older and there is no one to replace them when they die. I Think, government must exerted effort to protect their culture. Otherwise, they and their culture will disappear. In Langan, one spirit-medium died last year and offering has ceased since that time. There are only 1786 Salon people and they are living in Zardattgyi, Jalan, Jarohn, Nyaungwee, Makyon Galat, Kan Hmaw Gyi, Langan, Ahleiman, Don Nyaung Hmaing, Don Pale Aw, and Payaw Wah,” said Khin Maung Htwe, one of Salon people living in Makyon Galat village.

One of the obstacles faced by Salon people are less job opportunities, migration increased where Salon people lived and overfishing by professional fishing fleets, modernity and tourism.

Source: Eleven Media Group

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