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Old 25-03-2013, 22:03   #136
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Re: What happened to Bruce almighty?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
OK, here's that elusive "bent genuine Bruce" story: Had one (20 kg) fouled on an abandoned mooring block just off the end of the old tuna cannery wharf in Cattle Cove, Twofold Bay NSW. Got it free after laboriously raising the whole lot near enough to the surface to get a relieving line under the block....

Jim
Did it not occur to you to do what the original native inhabitants of the Patagonian channels used to do ?
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Old 25-03-2013, 22:18   #137
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Re: What happened to Bruce almighty?

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Did it not occur to you to do what the original native inhabitants of the Patagonian channels used to do ?
Well, not having a clue about what Patagonians, new or old, do or did... nope, it sure did not occur to me. I feel a great sense of loss...

And now, with a drum roll, AT will reveal the truth:........

Jim
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Old 25-03-2013, 22:56   #138
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Re: What happened to Bruce almighty?

I was thinking that a certain significant other could have put her shoulder to that particular wheel.

Here's a quote from Lucas Bridges, who grew up with one of the Patagonian tribes in the late 19th century, which should give you the general idea. It relates specifically to the Yamana, but the customs were similar in many tribes in this region

[I should explain that in general the women, blessed with a natural layer of subcutaneous fat, traditionally dived for tucker, while the kids tended the fires (in many tribes although apparently not this one, canoes had a central fireplace: the canoes were the nearest thing they had to a home, and consequently were the female domain) and the men did ... manly things, presumably hunched in the bow and looking into the middle distance.]

"Being in charge of the canoes - (for it was only on long journeys, or when in a hurry, that the men helped with the paddles) - the women were also good swimmers, but it was a rare thing to find a male Yamana who could swim.

The women were by no means slaves, for what they caught was their own. The husband used only what the wife gave him, and she did not ask his permission before making gifts to her friends.

Members of this tribe often lived in places where for many miles there were no beaches on which it was possible to haul up their canoes. They were compelled, therefore, to anchor them off the rocks in the best shelter to be found.

This anchoring was done by the women. After the canoe was unloaded and the husband had gone up into the forest to collect fuel for the fire, the wife would paddle off in the canoe a few fathoms into the thick kelp (a large species of seaweed), which makes a splendid breakwater.
She would grasp a handful of the kelp's rope-like branches and secure them to the canoe, which was thus safely anchored by their roots, then slip into the water, swim ashore and hasten to the fire to dry and warm herself.
(AT NOTE: The general practice in the whole region was to do without clothing, presumably because of the rainfall combined with the cold. The missionaries were horrified by this and forced them to wear clothing, usually with very poor health outcomes.)


The Yamana women swam like a dog and had no difficulty getting through the kelp....They learnt to swim in infancy, and were taken out by their mothers in order to get them used to it. In winter, when the kelp was coated with a film of frost, a baby girl out with her mother would sometimes make pick-a-back swimming difficult by climbing onto her parent's head to escape the cold water and frozen kelp."

Naughty baby ! Bad baby !
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Old 25-03-2013, 23:01   #139
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Re: What happened to Bruce almighty?

Actually I spoke too soon. Reading further:

<< Fires were also kept going in the canoes when they were in use. There was little danger. Seawater leaked through the seams and kept the interiors of the canoes perpetually damp. The fires were built on little heaps of sand and moist turf in the centres of the canoes.>>

They clearly hadn't heard Frank Muir (or was it Denis Norden?) butchering a common expression on "My Word" into: "you can't have your kayak and heat it"..

the passage goes on: << On reaching the night's camping-ground after a day in the canoes the Yamanas would carry embers or blazing torches ashore. When they re-embarked the following morning, or if women went off for a few hours' fishing, fire was carried back to the canoes. Thus, except when men were hunting and passed the night away from home, it was rarely necessary to kindle a new fire.


There is another interesting point about the fires of the Fuegian Indians. In the the numberless sheltered nooks round the shores, at points where canoes could safely be beached, were Yamana families living in their wigwams. If a distant sail appeared, or anything else occurred to startle those who had remained at home, they would send out a warning to those away fishing by piling green branches or shrubs on the wigwam fire. At the sight of the black signal smoke the fishers would hurry back home. The early explorers of that archipelago would see the countless columns of smoke and fires at short intervals for miles along the coast. This is doubtless the reason why they named those regions Tierra del Fuego. >>

More info here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yaghan
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