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Pearl Fishers (Ceylon)




Translation : Pearl Fishers (Ceylon). The pearl fisheries of Ceylon are the best regulated in the world. Fishing takes place only during the quiet north-east monsoon (February to April), from sunrise to sunset. Divers descend by a stone tied to a rope, with a loop to take their foot; arrived at the bottom, the diver fills the net he holds with oysters, then pulls on the rope of the net, the other end being held by a man in the boat. The latter man gives the rope a jerk that gives the diver enough momentum to help him up. For a few minutes, the diver breathes on the surface of the water and then descends again. (Images from the collection of Bill Larson)

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