Orang Laut

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Orang Laut

 

(Malay, “people of the sea”), the collective name for tribal groups such as the Bajau, Illanuns, Suluks, Obians, Sekah, Pesukuan, and Barok, who live at the estuaries of rivers on the coasts of Kalimantan, Sumatra, Sulawesi, and other islands of the Malay Archipelago. Some Orang Laut move frequently from island to island; as a rule, they live in boats. They number about 120,000 (1970, estimate). They speak various languages that are close to Malay. Most of them retain tribal beliefs; some have adopted Islam. Their main occupation is fishing.

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