Thursday, May 14, 2015
TAMING FISH IN LUTA
Several sources from the early 1900s talk about a unique way the people of Luta (Rota) caught fish.
They tamed them. Right in the ocean.
When the fish were very small, the fishermen would go out in their canoes. They would let down into the water a half a coconut shell, with a stone in it for weight. There was also a string tied to the stone so that the fisherman could jiggle it, making a sound which would attract the fish. Inside the shell would be grated coconut meat. The little fish would eat to their heart's content. And day by day, for as long as needed, the fishermen would do this.
As the fish got bigger, and more attractive to catch, the fish got very used to finding coconut meat in what they thought was a safe environment. Then - swoosh! The fishermen would easily grab the fish.
I wish I knew what type of fish was the object of this method of catching them.
Most of Luta lacks a reef. So I can only imagine where this type of fishing took place, as most of the waters around Luta seem rather rough and deep for this method.
This method is also time-consuming. But, as one writer said, especially in those days, the people had a lot of time on their hands.