|Photo © Hannah Reyes-All Rights Reserved|
We are all shocked at the loss of life (reported to be in the many thousands) and the devastation in the Philippines caused by Typhoon Haiyan. It was one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded, and it currently continues its path of destruction towards Viet Nam.
I thought I'd feature Hannah Reyes' People of the Sea photo gallery; photographs introducing us to the Bajau, an indigenous ethnic group of maritime Southeast Asia. The Bajau are traditionally from the many islands of the Sulu Archipelago in the Philippines, and live a seaborne lifestyle in small wooden sailing vessels.
They've been known as masters of the seasonal currents of the Sulu and South China seas, and it's said that Bajau fishermen can dip their hands in the sea, and judge a current's direction and strength and the time it will take to reach their destination.
The best of the Bajau can sail at night on instinct and are expert free-divers, holding their breath for long periods as they plunge for pearls. They bury their dead in sailboats so the body can navigate to the afterworld.
Hannah Reyes is a travel / documentary photographer currently living in Phnom Penh. Herself from the Philippines, her work appeared in the New York Times' Global Edition, The International Herald Tribune, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal.