Photograph by Matthieu Paley for National Geographic
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A Bajau man catches a colorful orange coral fish off Mantabuan Island.
Photograph by Matthieu Paley for National Geographic

In Borneo, Eating Means Living the Life Aquatic

Skinny jeans and a spear is all you need to hunt octopus in the clear turquoise waters of Borneo. For the Bajau people of Malaysia, it’s not just their diet that’s oceanic, it’s their entire way of life. Living either in stilt houses over the water or on handmade boats, the Bajau are intimately connected to the ocean and the food they get from it.

As part of our Future of Food series, photographer Matthieu Paley went to eight remote parts of the world documenting the evolution of diet.  Our video team captured his NG Live lectures about this work in a series of videos.

Check out the sights and sounds of Borneo: See a man tenderly hold an octopus, listen as waves lap at a boat, and hear fish sizzling over a fire.

We Are What We Eat: Borneo