Indian coracles


Indian coracles
Coracle on the Kaveri river. Some like this are used by vendors

Indian coracles(Tamil:பரிசல்) are commonly found on the rivers Kaveri and Tungabhadra in Southern India.[1] Coracles are primitive, light, bowl-shaped boats with a frame of woven grasses, reeds, or saplings covered with hides.[2] Indian coracles are considered to have been in existence since prehistoric times,[2] and are a major tourist attraction at the Hogenakkal falls on the Kaveri river.[3] Although these boats were originally designed for general transport, they have recently been used mostly for giving tourists rides.[4]

Coracle on the Kabini River, Karnataka, India.

Contents

Types

The coracles found in the Hogenakkal are of two types, which differ mainly in size. The smaller ones are about 6.2 feet (1.9 metres) in diameter, and are used primarily for fishing. The larger ones, which measure up to 8.4 feet (2.6 metres) in diameter, are used for tourists.[5]

Design

Dimensions of Indian coracles.

Indian coracles are either saucer or bowl shaped and circular, with the greatest diameter across the mouth. The circular coracles in Iraq are very similar, but they have convexly curved sides, and thus the mouth is not the widest part.[1] Indian coracles are on average about 7.3 feet (2.24 metres) in diameter,[5] but can still hold eight people at a time.[3] Other kinds of coracles usually can only hold one person.[6] Indian coracles, and coracles in general, are made of bamboo and take about a day to build, given all the necessary materials.[5] The bottoms of the boats are covered in hides, or sometimes with sheets of plastic, in order to make them waterproof.[7] In modern times, a sheet of LDPE plastic is often embedded between two layers of bamboo. Sometimes the bottom of the craft is tarred to make it waterproof. Coracles are steered and propelled using a single paddle, making them unique.[5]

Construction

The boats are made primarily from bamboo. The first step in construction is a basic framework woven from bamboo sticks. Then the bottom is further reinforced with the addition of more bamboo sticks, making the boat's base sturdy. Once the bottom is structurally sound, the lowest points of the sides are defined by a circumferential band of three flat strips of bamboo woven into the existing lattice. The sides of the boat are then made with 20 to 30 adjacent strips of bamboo. Finally this framework is again strengthened by lightweight bamboo, making sure that the sides are not heavier than the base.[5]

The boats had earlier been waterproofed by using hides of animals, but these days plastic sheets are used for this purpose as they are cheaper as well as easily available.[5] The waterproofing is further enhanced by a layer of tar,[5] a feature which is common in most contemporary coracles.[6][8]

Local names

See also

  • Fishing coracles

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Coracle — Coracles on the River Teifi, West Wales 1972. The two people pictured are John (forefront) and Will Davies of Cenarth the last two legitimate Coracle fishermen in Cenarth. They are both using the single arm method of propulsion a way of gliding… …   Wikipedia

  • Hogenakkal Falls — or Hogenakal Falls ( ta. ஒக்கேனக்கல் அருவி, kn. ಹೊಗೆನಕಲ್ ಜಲಪಾತ) is a waterfall in South India on the Kaveri (or Cauvery) River. It is located in the Dharmapuri district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.… …   Wikipedia

  • Kumbakonam —   town   Kumbakonam Town Hall …   Wikipedia

  • Tibet — /ti bet /, n. an administrative division of China, N of the Himalayas: prior to 1950 a theocracy under the Dalai Lama; the highest country in the world, average elevation ab. 16,000 ft. (4877 m). 1,250,000; 471,660 sq. mi. (1,221,599 sq. km). Cap …   Universalium

  • Ancient maritime history — Maritime history dates back hundreds of years. In ancient maritime history, the first boats are presumed to have been dugout canoes which were developed independently by various stone age populations. In ancient history, various vessels were used …   Wikipedia

  • Brahmaputra River — River, Central and South Asia. From its headsprings in Tibet (as the Zangbo River), it flows across southern Tibet to break through the Himalayas in great gorges (where it is known as the Dihang). It flows southwest through the Assam Valley and… …   Universalium

  • English Channel — For the racehorse, see English Channel (horse). Satellite view of the English Channel The English Channel (French: la Manche, Breton: Mor Breizh, Cornish: Mor Bretannek), often referred to simply as the Chann …   Wikipedia

  • List of museums in Wales — This list of museums in Wales contains museums which are defined for this context as institutions (including nonprofit organizations, government entities, and private businesses) that collect and care for objects of cultural, artistic, scientific …   Wikipedia

  • Tigris-Euphrates river system — ▪ river system, Asia Introduction  great river system of Southwest Asia, comprising the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which have their sources within 50 miles (80 km) of each other in eastern Turkey and travel southeast through northern Syria and… …   Universalium


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.