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Title: Econology of Ama divers
Authors: Gutierrez, L 
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: Holding their breath for one or two minutes, Japanese Ama divers still follow the most primitive form of foraging in the sea. In existence for more than three thousand years and documented in third-century Chinese poetry, they harvest the ocean floor by gathering abalone, turban snails, sea urchins, lobsters, and seaweed, contributing to a balanced ecology and economy (econology) of the coastline. Forming a special community in villages where they come together to auction their harvest at the fish market, each day they repeat a series of actions that promote much respect for the natural resources and the various objects they use.
The Archaeology of Diving (video work) was recorded around Toba, in the Bay of Ise in central Japan, in August 2018. The film portrays a timeline of the unique life of a small group of women free divers that spans multiple generations. It begins as they come together in an amagoya, a simple hut located on the shore, where they warm up, share food, tell stories, and repair and store their diving gear. Together they dive, whistling as they exhale upon surfacing in order to protect their lungs and to gauge their distance from one another. Specific sets of regulations monitor diving time and the sizes and types of seafood that are allowed to be seasonally harvested, ensuring the protection of fishery culture.
Rights: All rights reserved.
Posted with permission of the author.
Appears in Collections:Design Research Portfolio

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