Moken Cultural Preservation

Cultural Preservation for the Moken people in Koh Surin National Park
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Donation Goal for our Moken Cultural Preservation Program: $20,000.

Our cultural preservation program helps to stop the marginalization of the unique group indigenous group of people along the North Andaman Coast. Traditionally the Moken were a nomadic seafaring group that have roamed the Andaman Sea for thousands of years. Modern life has taken hold of their freedom, forcing them onto land and into marginalization by Thai and Burmese societies as well as the thrust of tourism.


The Moken would spend most of their time on the sea in their houseboats called ‘kabangs’ where they would live in harmony with the nature around them. Living completely sustained by the sea and the forest, they had little need or desire for modern conveniences. For many Moken communities the tsunami brought a wave of change and opened them up to the modern world. For the Moken on Koh Surin, it kept them land bound to only one beach on the islands that were then overtaken by tourism. Many Moken were relocated to the mainland communities of housing that were built as relief efforts, taking them away from their opportunity to easily acquire work.

How you can help NAN support this cause:

Elderly Moken Medical Care

The older generation of Moken who spent most of their life on the sea now faces new challenges on land, often lacking the ability to receive proper medical treatment in their aging years. Help our cultural preservation program to provide funds for transportation to hospitals and payment for medical treatment.  By purchasing handicrafts like the small kabang boats you help to encourage the continuation of this tradition and provide a source of income.

Community Based Tourism

A group of Moken that continue to live on Koh Surin have reorganized a community based tourism group that offers private tours to interested guests.  Come visit with the Moken in Koh Surin National Park and directly support their community based tourism endeavor in partnership with Andaman Discoveries. Your support helps the basic needs of the group to keep the program running, including training and maintenance of the Moken information booth and an interpretive forest trail on the island.

Moken Youth Program

Cultural preservation for this disappearing culture is of benefit not only to its people, but the world for generations to come.  The Moken hold an indispensable knowledge of the sea and the nature of the Andaman.  By offering financial support for community gatherings we are able to give the Moken an opportunity to celebrate and share their traditions.  Here senior Moken community members will teach traditional fishing skills to the first generation to be raised mostly on the mainland, as well as handicraft making skills like boat building and weaving.

Moken / Sea Gypsies Cultural Preservation