Sama-Bajau, Sea Nomads

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Sama-Bajau, Sea Nomads

The Sama-Bajau people live in the Sulu Sea, between the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, and are the only human race specifically adapted to the sea. They only go to land to trade, build boats or bury their dead. Millennia ago, their ancestors specialised in the exploitation of marine resources.

The Sama-bajau are an expert fishing community and have developed the ability to manage these resources for centuries, without depleting them. Now they have to adapt to a different reality due to geopolitics, conflicts and discrimination.

Within its collections, the Museu Marítim de Barcelona has various objects from the Philippines. Among these objects are two complete boats, made in the 19th century and arriving in Barcelona in 1899: two single-trunk canoes invented tens of thousands of years ago that take us back to the origins of navigation and shipbuilding. By means of these pieces and photographs, the MMB dedicates this monographic exhibition to the Sama-Bajau, a unique culture due to its adaptation to marine life.

Place: The Mirador 
Free access


  • From 23/11/2023
  • to 12/05/2024


  • From 10:00 to 20:00



  • Free


English / Castellano / Català


  • OrganizersMMB