CULTURE - FISHING
Rural women on the way to community fishing
The techniques employed for fishing change with the change in season. Hence, the tools used for fishing also vary according to requirements in each season. Usually during floods fishing is prohibited as it is time for fertilization and migration of fishes into depressions. Occasional fishing is practiced by the communities. They prepare special fishing traps like polo, dingora etc.
Community fishing i.e. by using small baskets is low during this season. Fish traps are especially made and put along the embankments against the water flow. During post monsoon season, water level in different water bodies recedes and it allows fishing. In this season fishermen are predominantly dependent of wet lands and marshy land. The scale of fishing increases and they get used for commercial purposes. Fishes collected from flowing water channels are prepared as dried fish for its consumption at local level as well as for commercial purposes. Bamboo bed is prepared at the river bank for drying of fishes. This is predominantly carried out by Mishing and Deoris. During winter season fishing becomes predominant. Fish is one of the most marketed commodities during this time.
TRADITIONAL TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
- Borjal (big net)
- Ghat jal: this is used when the water level is low.
- Phansijal: it can catch fish of different sizes.
- Kerang jal: this used to catch big fish in the rivers.
- Kewali jal: this is circular in shape and used to collect table fish from wetland and ponds.
- Looter jal: this is circular in shape and used to collect table fish from wetland and ponds.
- Tongi jal: this is temporary in nature and used for a single season only. This is most commonly used.
Some of the traditional fish catching instruments used by the communities in Majuli are:
- Polo: conical shaped instrument used for fishing in shallow waters
- Jakoi: triangle shaped instrument made of bamboo. It is used for fishing in shallow water. This is mainly used by women folk for catching small fish.
- Khaloi: it is made of bamboo and cane and mainly used for storing while fishing.
- Dolonga: this triangular shaped instrument made of bamboo and cane is kept under water (usually in rivers) to catch fish in winters.
- Chepa/ khoka: this is fixed in narrow paths rough which the fish generally move.
- Bamichunga: it is made of bamboo and betel nut and specially used to catch a special fish called Bami.