Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Who are Pearl Divers?

Pearls are known to us for a very long period of time. We would have read in our history lessons that the kings gifted their poets and court men with pearls for their achievements and the Queens adorned themselves lavishly with Pearls.

However, behind all such pomp and splendor lies the hard work of the ‘Pearl Divers’ who were responsible for collecting the Oysters from the dangerous depths of the Seas. In those days when there was no technical advancement the divers were not equipped with any protective measures. They used to hold their breath all the time from the time of plunging into the sea, drown themselves with the help of weights tied to their body, scope the oysters and return.

Theses divers had to face the grave risks of shark attacks and also attacks from other dangerous aquatic creatures. And holding the breath for such longer periods is a mammoth task by itself. A momentary negligence may lead to death. These people often faced the after effects such as acute pain in the limbs.

However gradually due to scientific growth these divers were equipped adequately with helmets and air pumps. Weight distribution was made in the suits they wore so that they could travel under water. A rope was fastened to their waist and the end of the rope was held by a man in the boat. The diver could send signals of danger by tugging the rope so the he could be pulled up by the rescuer. As science advanced aqua pumps were introduced fro safe breathing and special suits were designed to ward off attacks caused by the sea creatures.

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