Souvenir 006: Vietnamese fisherman, wood, eggshell, black paint, lacquer/varnish – Hoi An, Vietnam, 2008

In the waters near Hoi An (a small fishing village in Central Vietnam), Fishermen use special techniques to catch fish. One of those techniques is to cast/throw a fishing net into the water. The way the net is cast/thrown spreads the net over a wide surface.

A cast net, also called a throw net, is a net used for fishing. It is a circular net with small weights distributed around its edge and an attached rope to haul in the net.

The net is cast or thrown by hand in such a manner that it spreads out on the water and sinks. This technique is called net casting or net throwing.

I actually did not bring the above souvenir from Vietnam, but got it as a present from my mother who bought this in a 3rd World Shop in The Netherlands, but still it was really a cool gift. It is a small piece of rectangular wood, painted black, the covered like a mosaic with loads of small pieces of cracked egg shells (brown and white eggs) and then covered with lacquer/varnish to make it smooth and shine. It is quite a good depiction of reality.

Fish are caught as the net is hauled back in. This simple device is particularly effective for catching small bait or forage fish, and has been in use, with various modifications, for thousands of years.

After the net is hauled, the content is siffed with a basket, to find small crabs, fish and shells…

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