Bajo People


Bajo people, is one of Indonesian ethnic tribe who live nomad and spread all over the Indonesia area.

Bajo people or Bajau or Sama Bajo was mentioned on folk tale that their ancestor was come from Johor, Malaysia. The King of Johor gave command to the Its People to found out the Princess who escaped. This person was looking for princess to some places into Sulawesi. It was mentioned that the princess is no longer want to come back to Johor, but she choices to stay at Sulawesi. While, the people who commanded by the king was also stay at Sulawesi and became the Bajo on next period.

Another folk tale mention that the princess of Johor married with the Prince of Bugis and the people from the crown was named by Bajoe.

Bajo people are famous as the great sailor man ever. They live and they death around the ocean. Moreover, they build their own resident close to the ocean as well as to make a living. That is why they are called as sea nomads, because they were living at first on floating house boat.

Bajo people finally spread to all corners of the territory since the 16th century to about 40-50 years ago, last displacement occurred in various areas on Nusa Tenggara Timur.

At recent time, most of Bajo people are stay at one place, either on their own initiative or at the government forcibly.

On East Java, we can find Bajo people in Kangean Island, Sumanep. They mostly are living together with Bugis and Madurese people.

On West Nusa Tenggara, Bajo people are stay in one village in Labuhan Haji sub distric, East Lombok. While on East Nusa Tenggara, Bajo people are stay at coastal area West Menggarai to East Flores. There is place named labuhan Bajo, which come up by the name of Bajo people. Some other area is including Gorontalo, Central Sulawesi and Southeast Sulawesi where we can find Bajo people.

On Gorontalo, The Bajo live in Tomini coastal area, which is in Torosiaje. Compared with Bajo settlements in other areas, settlements in Torosiaje have unique characteristics, that settlements are built on the sea that really separated from the mainland.

Bajo people have their own language in daily speaking, but the dialects are influenced by their area that they live. Bajo people who live in South Sulawesi are adopting the culture from Bugis and Makassar, or they adopting Buton culture in Southeast Sulawesi. Meanwhile, The Bajo in Sumbawa is adopting the culture from Bugis.

Although, The Bajo have live hundreds years in society who is Christian or Catholic, Bajo people are still hold Islam as their religion, for them, Islam is the only religion that is characteristic of this tribe.

As their blood is stick to ocean, Bajo people are the one who always taking care the sea preservation. They living on the sea, they making home on it and they taking care everything about it.


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