The culture of the Mohana Tribe lives on boats. Now their traditions are on the verge of extinction. Float on the largest lake in South Asia. The life of the Mohana tribe is a unique portrait of how humans built a Settlement that has existed for centuries.
This community is also an illustration of how resilient humans are in adapting to unusual environments. Humans will choose land as a place to live their lives. However, this does not apply to the Mohana tribe.
Mohano Mala Mir Bahar Mirani, or more popularly known as the Mohana Tribe. They are a tribe of Cindy people who live in Shin province, Pakistan. They are followers of Sunni Islam. The mohana population is known to live in houseboats in the middle of Mancar lake.
According to past history, Mohana is a descendant of the Scythian Meds who lived on the banks of the Indus river 1000 years ago. Initially they built their life in the waters of the Indus river. However, because the river water was increasingly polluted, some of them finally decided to move to Lake Mancar.
Water is their backbone. The life of people here is completely dependent on the sea, rivers and lakes. Many Mohana people prefer to call themselves Miral Bahar, which means lord of the sea. The Mohana people’s lives are completely spent on boats.
Boats are made in such a way that they are shaped like houses. Each boat is given a roof to protect itself from heat and rain. In this narrow room, they do various activities such as cooking, eating, drinking, sleeping, and many other things. The main source of food for the Mohana tribe of course comes from this lake. As people who live in water, they have good abilities in catching fish. They usually consume the fish they catch themselves, and some they sell to markets on land.
The money obtained from sales is used to buy food and other living necessities. The Mohana tribe cooks on boats traditionally using firewood and a stove. For this reason, on each of the Mohana people’s boats you will see many piles of firewood. The women cook carefully, because if their boat catches fire and is destroyed this will have fatal consequences. It takes a lot of time and effort to build a new boat.
Apart from being known as the rulers of the seas, the Mohana tribe are also called bird people. This cannot be separated from their unique way of hunting birds and catching fish. They use undercover hunting techniques. Who turned themselves into birds. Men of the Mohana tribe cover their heads with stuffed birds, and plunge into the muddy waters. They carefully approached the bird swimming near the edge and caught it.
This ancient hunting technique is done by submerging the entire body and leaving only the head with the stuffed bird visible. When the target is close, this is when the hunter catches wild birds from underwater. Not only that, the Mohana tribe also catch fish using water birds that they have kept since childhood. So this bird becomes tame. The birds of the Mohana tribe are cranes. Storks are trained to help them catch fish.
But the life of the Mohana tribe is now very difficult. The numbers continue to decrease. And someday it will just be a story. That’s because toxic industrial waste is dumped into the waters of the vast lake. Threatening their lives, once abundant fish stocks are gradually dwindling due to industrial waste.
The decline in water levels due to low rainfall, and the construction of dams on the Indus river have increasingly put the mohana tribe on the verge of extinction. As a result of these difficult conditions, many of Mohana’s descendants have abandoned the traditional ways of life inherited from their ancestors thousands of years ago. Now some of them have lived on land forever. And their traditions are now on the verge of extinction.