Talk:Sea Gypsies

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To merge, or not to merge?[edit]

The Moken are a subgroup of the larger ethnic group of the Salone. Although merges are often desirable, restraint in this case may be in order. Ombudsman 03:07, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

If so, then perhaps "Salone" requires a separate article. Since you identified the "Sea Gypsies" as another name for the Moken, that means this article is a content fork. -- Antaeus Feldspar 11:29, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I think at this point they should not be merged. After the 2004 Tsunami, there was a 60 Minutes story about the 'Sea Gypsies' and how they were more aware that there was a tsunami. Throughout the story they used both terms 'Moken' and 'Sea Gypsy'. Other news reports picked up the story and used the term 'Sea Gypsies'. So at this point, more people will be familiar with the term 'Sea Gypsy'. It is like changing the term 'Germany' to 'Deutschland'.
I have to point out, that's not an argument for keeping two separate articles. It's an argument against having the merged article at "Moken" instead of "Sea Gypsies". Not to mention that if a merge does happen, whichever article has its content merged into the other will become a redirect, so typing in "Sea Gypsies" and typing in "Moken" will get you the same article.
Given that this article is either, a) a knowing and deliberate content fork, since the author linked to the existing article in the first sentence, or b) knowingly and deliberately incorrect, since the author claimed the "Sea Gypsies" and the "Moken" to be the same in the article and claimed them to be different on the talk page, I think that any merge needs to use Moken as its base and include information from this article only after it has been carefully vetted. -- Antaeus Feldspar 17:32, 5 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Language and dialect[edit]

One question I'd have before merging is whether the Salone and the Moken speak the same language, or the same dialect of the same language. If they are different, that's a good argument that their histories might be different enough to merit two distinct articles. Bruxism 20:42, 1 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Some expert who really knows if they are the same or not should merge them. If they are the same, then a merge will do. If not, the subgroup should be a section of the article as both articles are small. If the articles are expanded, then leave them separate.Rlevse 14:21, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • The termSea Gypsies in SE Asia can refer to the semi-nomadic boat people of the Malayic language group which live on the West Coast of Thailand from Ranong Province up to the Mergui Archipelago of Myanmar (Burma). It can also be used to include other peoples of similar habits such as the Riau Orang Laut and the Bajau as far east as the Phillipines. (Orang is the Malay word for "man" or "people".) Selung or Salone or 'Chalome is the Burmese name for the sea gypsies. In Malay while Orang Laut (sea people) might seem to be the term for the sea gypsies, it is not, rather it refers specifically to an unrelated group in the Riau Islands of Indonesia, or more broadly to "numerous tribes and status groups inhabiting the islands and estuaries in the Riau-Lingga Archipelagos, the Pulau Tujuh Islands, the Batam Archipelago, and the coasts and offshore islands of eastern Sumatra and southern Malay Peninsula."[1] Other Malay terms for these Orang Laut were Celates or Orang Selat (straits people). In Thailand the sea gypsies are often called Chao Ley (people of the sea) or Chao nam (people of the water). Acculturated sea gypsies are called Thai Mai (new Thais).

Moken (sometimes spelled Mawken or Morgan) is one of the four subdivisions of a proto-Malay (Austronesian) population: Moken (Mawken), Moklen (Moklem), Orang Sireh (Betel-leaf people) and 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 Moken are the least linguistically and ethnically dilute. The Moklen have had a heavy Thai and Mon-Khmer influence. The Urak Lawoi (Urak Lawoy) although sometimes included with the Moken are actually a Malay people (lighter skinned) speaking a Para-Malay dialect (as opposed to a proto-Malay dialect) who have acquired some of the characteristics of the Selung.[2][3] The Urak Lawoi have also been heavily influenced by Thai. Two other peoples to the east in Malaysia, the Duano' (Orang Kuala) and the Orang Seletar are sometimes included as sea gypies. But the Duano' speak a Para-Malay language and the proto-Malay language of the Orang Seletar is not closely related to Moken or Moklen, nor is their material culture. See Anderson, John (1890) The Selungs of the Mergui Archipelago Trübner & Co., London; and Hope, Sebastian (2001) Outcasts of the Islands: the Sea Gypsies of Southest Asia HarperCollins, New York, ISBN 0002571153 ; and for language analysis.