Myanmar Malay Muslims

 Myanmar Malay Muslims

or Pashus or Bajau or Selung, or Salone

 From the free encyclopedia

Wikipedia Talk page Adding facts about the Muslim- Moken or Pashu or Bajou after I added the following data into the main article_

In researching I have found part of the problem. Pashu is just the local name in Kawthaung for people of Malay ancestry. (My rebuttal- the whole Burma is using this name, any why was my Myanmar Malay Muslim article deleted?) It is also used to describe the mixed Malay-Burmese-Thai patois (so I am not wrong!)that many of them speak. Sometimes the word Pashu is also applied to the Moken as they are related to the Malays. (So erasing my article from Moken is also not totally right!) An example of usage is the local Kawthaung name for Pterocarpus indicus or pashu-padauk while in English it is sometimes called Malay padauk. Pashu has nothing to do with religion, (This is the outsiders hope and imigination. But almost all the Pashus are Muslims in Kawthaung) but that could be confusing since the Malay are more likely to be Muslim than the Burmese or Thai. –Bejnar (talk) 18:06, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Many Burmese Moken, especially those staying on the mainland on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula, have intermarried with local Burmese Muslims, Arabs and Indian seamen/traders. They are Muslims, and speak Burmese and a Malay dialect, with some of them holding Burma and Malaysian double citizenship.

In the southern tip of Myanmar in Myeik district of Taninthayi Division, a sizable number of Pashu (Bajou) people have lived since time immemorial. They are of the Malay race.

They speak Malay and some of their elderly members can read Jawi, Malay language written in Arabic Script. (Modern Malay is also written in Roman Script). Concentrated in Bokpyin township and villages around it and many sprawling islands in the Bay of Bengal, they learn a livelihood through fishing, pearl diving, agriculture and various trades.

They speak Myanmar with a strong Myeik ( Beik ) accent, and many can talk in Bahasa Melayu also. They have commercial links with south Thailand and north Malaysia. In Kawthaung the southernmost town of Myanmar, across Ranong in south Thailand , there are many mosques, including a large Pashu mosque. There are some Pashus who have intermarried with other Burmese Muslims and some of their youths have taken up modern Myanmar education.[7]

 

 

 

REFERENCE ^ Maung-Ko Ghaffari, Yangon, Myanmar’s letter/article, published in the Sun newspaper, Malaysia on May 28, 2007. He gives me this newspaper photocopy with the permission for reproduction and circulation consent duly signed. He was the Chief Editor of The Islam Alin (Light of Islam) magazine published in Yangon. He cited or referred to the, “Our Pashu People”, published by Colonel Ba Shin, Chairman of the Burma Historical Commission and Secretary General of the Islamic Religious Affairs Council. Burma/Myanmar.

Some of the original contributors may like to see Moken remain as primitive non Muslims and repeatedly erased my contributions without even giving the reasons. Please just look at the Bajou in Malaysia and Indonesia. They are Muslims and are same as Myanmar/Burmese Pashus (Bajou) and mostly found in Johore, Batang Island Indonesia, Sarawak (East Malaysia) and Singapore. I have given a very good reference and also got the consent to republish anywhere, as written below.

So please may you kindly do not try to erase these facts about Burmese Malay Muslims, well known as Pashu or Bajou.

If they are the separate different Ethnic Minority from MOKEN,, why do you all merged my Burmese Malay Muslims article into this article?Or if you think Burmese Malay Muslim Pashus are totally different from Moken, kindly put back my article seperating from this merged one.

Please see Bajauin Wiki. Who authorize my article to merge and later edited out or erase the Burme Malay Muslim? Even Pashu Khaung Phyat bogyman meaning Bajau headhunter is well known in Burma. And we call the whole Peninsular as Pashu Kyun Swe meaning Pashu Peninsular. –Darz kkg (talk) –Darz kkg (talk) 14:07, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Maung-Ko Ghaffari, Yangon, Myanmar’s letter/article, published in the Sun newspaper, Malaysia on May 28, 2007. He gives me this newspaper photocopy with the permission for reproduction and circulation consent duly signed. He was the Chief Editor of The Islam Alin (Light of Islam) magazine published in Yangon. He cited or referred to the, “Our Pashu People”, published by Colonel Ba Shin, Chairman of the Burma Historical Commission and Secretary General of the Islamic Religious Affairs Council. Burma/Myanmar. (Written by me)

Which ethnolinguistic group are you speaking about, which you believe is not covered adequately at Wikipedia? It is a bit difficult to follow you. There is no Pashu or Bajou ethnic group listed at List of ethnic groups in Burma. Badagnani (talk) 02:33, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

My rebuttal_

Those Pashu Muslims of Burma are really there and I had given referral duly. Viz_

A. Maung-Ko Ghaffari, Yangon, Myanmar’s letter/article, published in the Sun newspaper, Malaysia on May 28, 2007. He was the Chief Editor of The Islam Alin (Light of Islam) magazine published in Yangon.

B. “Our Pashu People”, published by Colonel Ba Shin, Chairman of the Burma Historical Commission and Secretary General of the Islamic Religious Affairs Council. Burma/Myanmar

C. We don’t care about the ethnic group listed at List of ethnic groups in Burma, as the

  1. Panthays or Burmese Chinese Muslims
  2. and Rohingya Muslims

are not officially recorded there but WE ALL ARE THERE IN BURMA to stay forever whether SPDC Military Junta and you all experts in Anthropology recognize us or not.

Anyway, the real issue here is, my article was merged in this article.

May be (I may be wrong) Myanmar Pashus are Moken converted into Islam. Some inter-married with local Burmese Muslims, Arab and Indian Muslim sailors and traders.

Please read the Wiki article, Bajau. Although not mentioned in Wiki Bajau, Myanmar Pashus could be related to them. May you kindly allow me to repeat my words above_

Even Pashu Khaung Phyat bogyman meaning Bajau headhunter is well known in Burma.

But as some of the ancient Myanmar/Burmese used to call the Malays as Pashu, it may refer possibly to Malay but now we all call Malay a Malay.

  1. The Bajau, (also written as Badjao, Badjaw or Badjau) are an indigenous ethnic group the Philippines and in parts of Sabah, Brunei and Sarawak.
  2. many Bajau had migrated to neighbouring Malaysia . . .
  3. They were sometimes referred to as the Sea Gypsies,
  4. although the term has been used to encompass a number of non-related ethnic groups with similar traditional lifestyles,
  5. Bajau is a collective term, used to describe several closely related indigenous groups.
  6. The origin of the word Bajau is not clear cut.
  7. Although it is generally accepted that these groups of people can be termed Bajau, these groups never call themselves Bajau.
  8. They call themselves with the names of their tribes that are mostly the names of the places of their origins.
  9. They accept the term because they realise that they share some vocabulary and general genetic characteristic such as in having darker skin,
  10. For most of their history, the Bajau have been a nomadic, seafaring people, living off the sea by trading and subsistence fishing.
  11. They kept close to shore by erecting houses on stilts, and traveled using lepa-lepa, handmade boats which many lived in.
  12. The many Bajau sub-groups vary culturally and linguistically, but are unified through their adherence to Sunni Islam of the Shafi’i school.
  13. Commonly, many sub-groups of Bajau are named after the place or island they live-in for many years.
  14. Eventhough, they are called Bajau, each sub-groups has they own unique language, cultures and tradition.
  15. However, certain sub-groups are able to understand the languages of other sub-groups and races.
  16. Claims to religious piety and learning are an important source of individual prestige among the coastal Bajau, and the title of salip/sarip (descendants of the Prophet Muhammad) are shown special honour in the local community.
  17. The Ubian Bajau, due to their nomadic marine lifestyle, are much less adherent to orthodox Islam, and practice more of a folk hybrid, revering local sea spirits, known in Islamic terminology as Jinn.
  18. Many Bajaus of the east coast retain their seaborne lifestyle, together with remnants of traditional pre-Islamic beliefs.
  19. Among the boat-dwellers in particular, community spirit mediums are consulted at least once a year for a public séance and nightly trance dancing.
  20. In times of epidemics, the mediums are also called upon to remove illness causing spirits from the community.
  21. They do this by setting a “spirit boat” adrift in the open sea beyond the village or anchorage.

 

As I am not an expert, please kindly decide the fate of Myanmar Muslim Pashus (sorry some may hate to read as another sub-group of Myanmar Muslim).

Are they still related to Moken? Bajau? Or non existent ghosts people?

But you could not close the eyes and refuse to accept that there is no such people there in Myanmar.

Whether they are recognized as Ethnic group or not, they are there.No one could cleanse them (and all the different groups of Muslims of Myanmar) out of Myanmar. Issue of recognization as the different ethnolinguistic group is for your academic paper work but we all are in Myanmar whether you recognize or not. And Wiki must record some where, even if you wish to record us as illegal mix-blooded people, echoing the dictator General Ne Win.

There are three groups of Bajau according to the New Straits Time, Malaysia’s English newspaper published in early 90’s. I copied and recorded the facts but was quite ignorant to note down the date and author.

These three groups of Bajau are_

  1. The Moken and the related Moklen group.
  2. Orang Laut (Sea People).
  3. Bajau Laut.

Myanmar citizens of Malays are the Moken and the related Moklen group. They are found in the Mergui Archipelago of Myanmar and the islands of south western part of Thailand.

One of the other two subtypes are the Orang Laut (Sea People) are seen in Riau-Lingga Archipelago, Batam, Eastern Sumatera of Indonesia and Southern Johore of Malaysia.

The last group is the Bajau Laut, largest of all groups, live in Sulu Archipelago of the Philippines, eastern Bornio, Sulawesi and islands of eastern Indonesia.

Pashu in Myanmar is likely to be the corrupted word (or a different slang) in Myanmar language from- Bajau. That Bajau tribe is the largest Muslim indigenous group in Sabah (East Malaysia). They are known as Sea Gypsies or Sea Nomads.

Malays in Myanmar or (called Pashu of Burma), are almost same as but a little bit different from the Malays in Southern Thailand, East and West Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines and Indonesia.

So the Pashu Muslims of Myanmar are likely to be from the Muslim-Moken and are related to Moklen group of Bajau.

So what should we do?

  1. Shift the whole Moken article under Bajau? Not appropriate as some Moken are non Muslims and Bajau are all Muslims. (See Wiki. Anthropologists should argue there that the religion should not create a new race. )
  2. Then is it appropriate to merge Moken into Bajau?
  3. Or need to take out Myanmar Pashu Muslims from this Moken article and put under Bajau article?
  4. Or just reinstate my original article Myanmar Malay Muslims or Pashu article merged here and ERASED?

To sumup the above, evidences of Burmese Malay Muslims or Pashu in Myanmar are_

  1. Letter/article, published in the Sun newspaper, Malaysia on May 28, 2007.
  2. Maung-Ko Ghaffari was the Chief Editor of The Islam Alin (Light of Islam) magazine published in Yangon, wrote that and given me the consent to republish.
  3. “Our Pashu People”, published by Colonel Ba Shin, Chairman of the Burma Historical Commission and Secretary General of the Islamic Religious Affairs Council. Burma/Myanmar.
  4. Pashu Khaung Phyat bogyman meaning Bajau headhunter is well known in Burma.
  5. Ancient Myanmar/Burmese used to call the Malays as Pashu, it may refer possibly to Malay but now we all call Malay a Malay.
  6. In the Glass Palace Chronicle, official history of Burma, there is the story of Alaunsithu, grandson of Kyansittha (Second Burmese King in History). Reported to had arrived Pashu/Malaya. One of the spectator child fell into the sea, drowned and saved by a sailor of Alaunsithu. (I will search back the book and give the reference page later.)
  7. Kin Won Min Gyi, the Minister of our last king, Thibaw, went to Europe through Malaya and recorded the appearances, culture, dressings of PASHUS. (I will search and give the references later)
  8. The New Straits Time, Malaysia’s English newspaper published in early 90’s about Bajau, which I recorded above. It may be difficult to trace back.
  9. And another article written by Datuk Kadir Jasin, Chief Editor of The New Straits Time, Malaysia’s English newspaper, after he followed the PM Tun Dr Mahathier’s first visit to Burma/Myanmar.He wrote about the Muslims in Burma, including these Pashu Malays of Burma and even mentioned about early arrival of Islam in Burma starting from Byat Wi, Byatta, Shwe Phyin brothers etc. (Datuk Kadir Jasin later became the Malaysia Government news agency, Bernama’s chief and now retired.)–Darz kkg (talk) 16:58, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
The following is an old revision of this page, as edited by me at 17:15, April 29, 2007. It  differ significantly from the current revision because some of the editors are stubborn and edited as they like erasing all of my postings in this article. But Alhamdulillah, I was able to protect my other Islam/Myanmar articles_

Articles I have authored, started or expanded on Wikipedia.

  1. Islam in Myanmar
  2. Talk:Islam in Myanmar
  3. Burmese Indians
  4. Talk:Burmese Indians
  5. Panthay
  6. Burmese Chinese
  7. Myanmar Indian Muslims
  8. Famous Burmese Muslims renamed List of Burmese Muslims
  9. Ba Shin
  10. Persecution of Muslims in Myanmar
  11. History of arrival of Islam in Burma/Myanmar
  12. Burma Muslim Congress
  13. Burmese Malay Muslims
  14. U Shwe Yoe

Moken children near Surin Island, Thailand

 

 

 

Moken children near Surin Island, Thailand

A boat of Moken

 

 

 

A boat of Moken

The Moken (Mawken or Morgan), are an Austronesian ethnic group with about 2,000 to 3,000 members who maintain a nomadic, sea-based culture. Their Malayic, or proto-Malay language is distinct from the surrounding Malayan languages.

Nomenclature

The Moken refer to themselves as Moken. The name is used for all of the proto-Malayan speaking tribes who inhabit the coast and islands in the Andaman Sea on the west coast of Thailand, the provinces of Satun, Trang. Krabi, Phuket, Phang Nga, and Ranong, up through the Mergui Archipelago of Myanmar (Burma). The group includes the Moken proper, the Moklen (Moklem), the Orang Sireh (Betel-leaf people) and the Orang Lanta. The last, the Orang Lanta are a hybridized group formed when the Malay people settled the Lanta islands where the proto-Malay Orang Sireh had been living.

The Burmese call the Moken, Selung, or Salone or Chalome.[1] In Thailand they are called Chao Ley (people of the sea) or Chao nam (people of the water). Although these terms are used loosely to include the Urak Lawoi and even the Orang Laut. Thai word is: มอแกน. In Thailand, acculturated Moken are called Thai Mai (new Thais).

The Moken are also called Sea Gypsies, a generic term that applies to a number of peoples in southeast Asia. The Urak Lawoi are sometimes classified with the Moken, but they are linguistically and ethnologically distinct, being much more closely related to the Malay people.[2][3]

Lifestyle

Their knowledge of the sea enables them to live off its organisms by using simple tools such as nets and spears to forage for food. What is not consumed is dried atop their boats, then used for trade at local markets for other necessities. During the monsoon season, they build additional boats while occupying temporary huts.

Some of the Burmese Moken are still nomadic people who roam the sea most of their lives in small hand-crafted wooden boats called Kabang, which serve not just as transportation, but also as kitchen, bedroom, living area. Unfortunately much of their traditional life, which is built on the premise of life as outsiders, is under threat and appears to be diminishing.

Some of the Burmese pure Moken are still nomadic people who roam the sea most of their lives in small hand-crafted wooden boats called Kabang, which serve not just as transportation, but also as kitchen, bedroom, living area. Unfortunately much of their traditional life, which is built on the premise of life as outsiders, is under threat and appears to be diminishing.

Because of the amount of time spent diving for food, Moken children have accommodated their visual focus to see better underwater.[4][5]

But many Burmese Moken, especially those staying on shore on the mainland, that is on the west coast of Malay Peninsula intermarried with local Burmese Muslims, Arab and Indian seamen/traders. They are Muslims and speak Burmese and a Malay dialect. And some of them are holding Myanmar and Malaysia double citizenships although that practice is not accepted by both goverments. If those Malay descendants (Muslims) want to migrate back to Malaysia, there was even a special scheme to accept them back in 70’s. Many of them had relatives in Kedah and some in other northern states of Malaysia.

The first Muslims had landed in Myanmar (Burma’s) Tanintharyi coast as seamen in ninth century. [6] The dawn of the Muslim settlements and the propagation of Islam was widely documented by the Arab, Persian, European and Chinese travelers of Ninth century.[7]

The current population of Myanmar Muslims are the descendants of Arabs, Persians, Turks, Moors, Indian-Muslims and Malays who settled and intermarried with local Burmese and many ethnic Myanmar groups. [8][9]

Muslims arrived in Burma as travelers, adventurers, pioneers, sailors, traders,[10]Military Personals (voluntary and mercenary)[11], and some were reported to have taken refuge from wars, Monsoon storms and weather, shipwreck [12]and for a number of other circumstances. but many of them are professionals and skilled personals serving at various ranks of administration whilst others are port-authorities and mayors and traditional medicine men.[13]

In the chronicles of Malaysia, during the first Melacca Empire of Parameswara in the early fifteenth century, it was recorded the Burmese (Muslims) sailors and traders were regularly arriving there. [1] Those Bago (Pegu) seamen, likely to be Muslims, were also recorded by the Arab Historians of tenth century. During fifteen to seventeen centuries, there were a lot of records of Burmese Muslim traders, sailors and settlers on the whole coast of Burma. That was from Arakan coast (Rakhine), Ayeyarwady delta and Tanintharyi coast (Including all the islands along the whole coast).[14] During Peik Thaung Min (early Bagan dynasty, 652-660 AD), Arab travelers from Madagascar to China through East Indian Islands, visited Thaton and Martaban ports. It was recorded in Arab chronicles in 800 AD. [15]

In seventeenth century, those Muslims controlled the business and became so powerful because of their wealth. They were even appointed as Governor of Mergui, the Viceroy of the Province of Tenasserim, Port Authorities, Port Governors and Shah-bandars (senior port officials).[16] [17] [18]

Muslim sailors built many mosques, but those should be more appropriately called Temples as they were equally holy to Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Chinese. They were called Buddermokan,The so called Buddermokan on Sittway island is claimed by believers of different faiths. … ‘Buddermokan’ [19][20][21] in memory to Badral-Din Awliya, a saint. They are found in Akyab, Sandoway and on a small island off Mergyi. [22]

So Malays in Myanmar (called Salon or Pa Shu), are almost same as but a little bit different from the Malays in Southern Thailand, East and West Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines and Indonesia. Pa Shu in Myanmar is likely to be the corrupted word (or a different slang) in Myanmar language from- Bajau. That Bajau tribe is the largest Muslim indigenous group in Sabah (East Malaysia). From the three groups of Bajau these Myanmar citizens of Malays are the Moken and the related Moklen group. They are mostly found in the Mergui Archipelago of Myanmar and the whole of the Tanintharyi coast.

Governmental control

The Burmese and Thai governments have made attempts at assimilating the people into their own culture, but these efforts have met with limited success. Thai Moken have been permanently settled in villages located in the Surin Islands (Mu Ko Surin National Park[23]), in Phuket Province, on the northwestern coast of Phuket Island, and on the nearby Phi Phi islands of Krabi province.[24]

The Andaman Sea off the Tenasserim coast was the subject of keen scrutiny from Burma’s regime during the 1990s due to offshore petroleum discoveries by multinational corporations including Unocal, Petronas and others. Reports from the late 1990s told of forced relocation by Burma’s military regime of the ‘Sea Gypsies’ to on-land sites. It was claimed most of the Salone had been relocated by 1997, which is consistent with a pervasive pattern of forced relocation of suspect ethnic, economic and political groups, conducted throughout Burma during the 1990s.

2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

The islands where the Moken live received much media attention in 2005 during the Southeast Asia Tsunami recovery, where hundreds of thousands of lives were lost in the disaster. As they are keenly aware of the sea, the Moken in some areas knew the tsunami that struck on December 26, 2004 was coming,[25] and managed to preserve many lives.

However in the coastal villages of Phang Nga Province, such as Tap Tawan, the Moken suffered severe devastation to housing and fishing boats in common with other Moken communities.[26]

References

  1. ^ Anderson, John (1890) The Selungs of the Mergui Archipelago Trübner & Co., London, pp. 1-5

  2. ^ Classification of Urak Lawoi language

  3. ^ Urak Lawoi of the Adang Archipelago, Tarutao National Marine Park, Satun Province, Thailand by Dr. Supin Wongbusarakum December 2005

  4. ^ Gislén, Anna (May 13, 2003) “Superior Underwater Vision in a Human Population of Sea Gypsies” Current Biology 13(10): pp. 833-836;

  5. ^ Travis, J. (May 17, 2003) “Children of Sea See Clearly Underwater” Science News 163(20): pp. 308-309;

  6. ^ “The Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar, 1972, Otto Harrassowitz. Wisbaden. page 2, first line.

  7. ^ “The Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar, 1972, Otto Harrassowitz. Wisbaden. page 2, line 5,6,9

  8. ^ ibid page 6, line 25,26&27.

  9. ^ Pathi U Ko Ko Lay’s lecture 1973, Islamic Religious Library Magazine

  10. ^ “The Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar,,page9, paraaph 4.

  11. ^ ibid, page10,line 7,8&9.

  12. ^ ibid page 2, paragraph 3, line 1,2&3.

  13. ^ ibid page 30, whole page.

  14. ^ ibid page 2, 2nd. paragraph, line 1,2 &3.

  15. ^ Various notable facts in Myanmar History, in Burmese, by U Kyi BA History Honours. Page 156, 157.

  16. ^ ibid

  17. ^ Maurice Collis, Simese White(London Faber and faber, 1936. page 40.

  18. ^ “The Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar, page 5, line 22 to 27

  19. ^ Sir Richard C. Temple, Buddermokan, JBRS,XV, pt 1 (1925)1-33

  20. ^ “The Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar, page 8 1st. paragraph

  21. ^ A. Journal of the Burma Research Society 15: 1-33. the coast from Assam to Malay with the curious mosques known as Buddermokan reverenced by the Buddhists and China-men as well as Mahomedans. B. Arakan Rajsabhay Bangala Sahitya(1600 – 1700 AD)Bengali Literature in the Kings’ Court of ArakanBy Dr. Muhammad Enamul Huq (M.A., Ph. D) and Sahitya-sagar Abdul Karim Sahitya Visarad Translated from Bengali by: Mating Sein Pru [www.rakhapura.com/ScholarsColumn/Bengali_Literature_in_the_Kings_Court_of_Arakan.asp]

  22. ^ ibid

  23. ^ “Mu Ko Surin National Park” National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, Bangkok, Thailand;

  24. ^ Bauerlein, Monika (November 2005) “Sea change: they outsmarted the tsunami, but Thailand’s sea gypsies could be swept away by an even greater force” Mother Jones 30(6): pp. 56-61;

  25. ^ http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/18/60minutes/main681558.shtml “Sea Gypsies See Signs In The Waves” 60 Minutes CBS News, 25 December 2005];

  26. ^ Jones, Mark (6 May 2005) “Thailand’s fisherfolk rebuild after tsunami” Reuters also from Web Archive

External links

Moken

A language of Myanmar

ISO 639-3: mwt

Population 7,000 in Myanmar (1993 Johnstone).
Region Mergui Archipelago, Dung, and other islands in south Myanmar. Also spoken in Thailand.
Alternate names   Mawken, Basing, Selung, Selong, Salong, Salon, Chau Ko’
Dialects Dung, Ja-It, L’be. Closest to Moklen. Related to Urak Lawoi.
Classification Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Malayic, Moklen
Language development NT: 2002.
Comments They live primarily on boats, but occasionally settle on islands in the area. SVO. Islands. Tropical forest. Sea level. Fishermen: marine products. Traditional religion, Muslim.

Also spoken in:

Thailand

Language name   Moken
Region West coast of south Thailand, Phuket, Phangnga, Krabi, Ranong.
Alternate names   Mawken, Basing, Selung, Selong, Salong, Salon, Chau Ko’
Dialects Dung, Ja-It, L’be.
Comments They live primarily on boats, but occasionally settle on islands in the area. Fishermen. Traditional religion, Muslim.
 

Entries from the SIL Bibliography about this language:

Academic Publications

Amon Thavisak. 2001. “The effects of glottal finals on pitch in Southeast Asian languages.”

Pittayaporn, Pittayawat . 2006. “When words erode: Moken trisyllabic syncopation and PAn stress.”

Selung/Moken

ETHNONYMS: The names used by and for nomadic boat people typically refer to the people’s connections with the sea. “Moken” (Mawken, Maw khen) is the name people living around the Mergui Archipelago of Myanmar (Burma) use to identify themselves. Originating from a Moken story, the name means “drowned people” or “people of the drowning,” maw or l’maw (drowning, to dip), o’en-ken abbreviated to oke’n (“salt water”), according to Bernatzik and to White. Anderson mentions people calling themselves Manoot (menut or manut, people) Ta’au (teau or t’ow, sea) or “people of the sea.” Similar terms for “people” are found in Thailand (chao) and Malaysia (orang) with words for “sea” (Thai le; Malay laut) or “water” (Thai nam); hence Thais call Moken “Chao Nam” or “Chao Le” and Malays use “Orang Laut.” The meaning and etymology of the Burmese name Salon, Selon, Selong, Selung, or Silung is not clear; it may derive from the Thai-Malay placename Salang (Thalang) Phuket, where Moken may have lived. Other names for Moken are associated with sociopolitical status, geography, and environment; these include “Orang Rayat” (Malay, “subject”) or “Rayat Laut” (“the sea subjects”), “Orang Pesukuan” (“people divided into clans”), and “Bajau” (Bugis, “subject”), a term denoting sea people of north Borneo and the Sulu Archipelago (often equated with pirates). Local groups may take the name of geographic places where they live (e.g., Orang Barok, for Baruk Bay, on the island on Singkep).

 

See also Bajau; Samal; Sea Nomads of the Andaman

BARBARA S. NOWAK

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