BBC Earth

Episode 1 – The Bajau


Episode 1 – The BajauEpisode 1 – The Bajau

Will heads to the centre of the Coral Triangle, to an extraordinary community built entirely at sea. This is the village of Sampela – home to 1,500 Bajau fishermen, who are some of the world’s most skilful ocean hunters. For generations the Bajau were nomadic, living on boats and only coming ashore to trade fish for fresh water, rice and vegetables. Over centuries they developed extraordinary underwater spear fishing and swimming techniques, with many able to hold their breath for several minutes at a time.

But under recent government pressure, most Bajau have settled. They have built stilted houses on the water, forming a unique community that continues to hold onto many of their traditional beliefs. Will wants to understand how these people – who have never lived in large groups or in one place before – are adjusting to their new existence.