Tag Archives: culture

Iceland’s Forgotten Fisherwomen

In the mid-1700s, a seawoman in Iceland named Björg Einarsdóttir composed a poem teasing men on her boat for their weak rowing: Do row better my dear man, Fear not to hurt the ocean. Set your shoulders if you can Into harder motion. Her work at sea may seem unusual. After all, fishing is generally considered a man’s job. But recent work by an American researcher, Margaret Willson, suggests that Einarsdóttir was one of hundreds of Icelandic women in the 18th and 19th centuries who braved towering waves and icy waters to catch fish. click here to read the story 11:20

How Fishing Created Civilization

Of the three ancient ways of obtaining food—hunting, plant foraging, and fishing—only the last remained important after the development of agriculture and livestock raising in Southwest Asia some 12,000 years ago. Yet ancient fisher folk and their communities have almost entirely escaped scholarly study. Why? Such communities held their knowledge close to their chests and seldom gave birth to powerful monarchs or divine rulers. And they conveyed knowledge from one generation to the next by word of mouth, not writing. click here to read the story 10:02

Yes, I butcher whales. It’s certainly no worse than what happens in slaughterhouses

1669625380_CaptureI ( Heri Joensen ) live in the Faroe Islands, where whaling has been part of our way of life for centuries. Last month, I was working on a long-finned pilot whale the day after it had been killed. Since more than four-fifths of the world’s population eats meat, I thought it would be fine to share such a picture — it’s no secret, surely, how meat is produced? But uproar followed. A campaign was launched to cancel my band’s (Týr) gigs and stop venues booking us. We seldom see pictures from inside slaughterhouses. As a result, people have strange ideas about meat — they seem to believe that animals are willingly and painlessly slaughtered behind closed doors. Ethically, I don’t see the difference between slaughtering wild whales and farmed cows. All animals suffer: if you can slaughter cows for meat, why not slaughter wildlife? Video, Read the story here 12:37

Culture: How fishermen use charms, juju and suicide ropes to catch fish for Nairobians

xmzydu6mhk4cvqhmn578b2bfa32223At 8pm, a ghostly stillness settles over the waters of Lake Victoria. A gentle breeze wafts along the beaches, the air fragrant with pine, grass and the sharp, pungent smell of fish as crickets and croaking frogs lull residents to sleep. But for fishermen, bells toll, signaling a new ‘day’ in office. Far away in Nairobi, mama samaki is keeping vigil at Gikomba, Marikiti and City Market, awaiting trucks piled with tilapia to arrive at dawn from the lake’s landing beaches for Nairobi’s urban population. But unknown to urbanites who devour the ngege with relish, fish does not stagger into the net like drunken louts. Most fishermen (and women) use witchcraft to ensure a bountiful catch!  From naming boats after dead relatives, scrambling for ‘suicide ropes’ and seeking the services of witchdoctors for protection and good tidings, fishing in the lake region is not for the fainthearted  or the ‘Amen!’ brigade. Read the rest here 11:11

Fixing the fleet in time – New exhibition “When The Fish Came First,” which opens May 28

When Nubar Alexanian started visiting Gloucester in 1971 as a young man of 21, the harbor bustled with fishing vessels that hauled in millions of pounds a fish a day. He captured the hive of activity among the Gloucester-based fleet from onshore and on extended trips offshore. The Worcester-born photographer soon made the nation’s oldest seaport his home, immersing himself into the cornucopia of Gloucester life and landscape. Read the rest here 08:02