This is Tai O, a small fishing village based on the tip of Lantau Island, Hong Kong. It is home to the ancient Tanka people who live on the coastal waterways of Southern China in traditional wooden boats. They base their livelihoods on and around the ocean, with fishing as their main source of food and income. Although the Tanka history is somewhat unclear, their origins are separate from those of the majority Han Chinese. From the time of the Qin dynasty (221-207BC) the Tanka people were dislodged by the colonising Han Chinese. They moved down to the Southern coastlines where they took refuge on floating villages on the ocean. Through this colonization-led segregation the Tanka people were seen as a poor subgroup looked down upon by the Han Chinese majority and given the name “Tanka”, meaning “boat people”. Today, the Tanka people live peaceful lives on the fringes of the ocean, still practicing their traditions although their way of life is under threat from pollution, and over-fishing.
I spent two days documenting their way of life.