Monday, November 12, 2012

Ancient and Rare Fishing Technique

Ancient Fishing Quiver, Meenukooli or Koori  

Modern ideas to do something big and also the advancements in science have together led to the negligence of ancient, small and self-dependent working units.The rarely seen fishing equipment called Meenukooli or Koori(in Kannada language) is a very good example for this. 

Latest inventions and advancements have pushed back the ancient working ways and techniques. The modern fishing techniques too, have left the ancient fishing folks far behind. A fresh example is meenukooli or Koori, a huge fishing quiver.

Meenukooli or Koori attached to the bamboo bed

A few years back, it was a common sight to see the meenukooli in many places of North Karnataka in India. But now, a few older ones, like the ancient fossils are visible here and there. Generally, this equipment is prepared using bamboo. For a longer life span of this equipment, a thick fluid, which is a remainder liquid obtained from the arecanut after boiling is applied over it and dried before use. The sharp end of the fish catching equipment is tied with a strong dry creeper. Then this equipment which resembles a sharp ended basket is tied at a suitable place in the flowing river. Most of the time, it will be a place where fish is available in abundance. Once the fish enters the basket, they will never be able to come out again.

After the fishing quiver is emptied of fish, the equipment will be placed at another corner where fish may be abundant. Thus during a rainy season, within a matter of 1-5 hours, a basket full of fish gets collected in the quiver. 

Bamboo bed formation in the river

Bed formation for fishing

Shalmala river flows between Sirsi -Yellapur taluk of North Karnataka state, India. It flows via a place called Vadiraja’s Tapovan (Vadiraja’s meditation point) in the forest. River span at this spot is 60 feet. In the middle of the river, spreading to an area of 30 feet, the meenukooli is placed. The length of it is ¾ feet. Lengthy bamboo of 20-21feet is split to produce halves and woven with strong creepers which resemble canes. It is half the size of a boat that moves in a water stream.

Slim bamboo types are used for creating 5-6 feet width bamboo bed and then they are tied together. The fishing quiver is then attached to the water flowing end. It may look simple to build up but it is a very tough handicraft work of the folks. It is mainly a creative work of the tribals in the region. This is also a symbol of eco-friendly and natural life style. Natural calamities, human greed, unavailability of skillful workers have collectively contributed to the disappearance of this handicraft.

A Unique Way of Catching Fish

Meenukooli or Koori, the fishing quiver
The fishes are forced to move into the quiver in a unique way. They use a local green leafy fibrous plant, for this purpose. In Kannada language, this rare plant is called Rammana soppu. The branches along with leaves are cut from the plant and crushed to gain a acid type fluid,oozing out of it. This fluid when comes in contact with human skin can cause rashes,hot boils and burns. Within minutes, after the branches are put closer to the fishing quiver, the fishes at the spot lose consciousness. They are forced to move into the quiver and get collected. They will never be able to come out or escape once again.

It is very much necessary to preserve such rare equipments which can help us in understanding our folks better. Never forget the way in which we led our life in ancient times.

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