June 10, 2011

The “leg rowers” of Lake Inle, Myanmar

Location: Lake Inle at Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar (20°39′N 96°56′E)
Date: 18 December 2000; 5.15pm
Canon EOS 500N (analogue) on slides and scanned

Water transportation is the major means for people living around Lake Inle to get around. While today there are motorised and speedboats, most people still get around by rowing their boats. Lake Inle’s local residents are well-known for their unique technique of leg rowing. Standing up on one leg in the narrow stern of the boat, they wraps the other leg around an oar and, with a circular movement, propels his boat forward. This "leg rowing" gives them a better view of the waterways and makes it easier to navigate around the floating islands and water hyacinth which make the margins of the lake into a maze of passageways. This is especially useful for fisherman on the lake as the lake is covered by reeds and floating plants which makes it difficult to see above them while sitting. Standing provides the rower with a view beyond the reeds. leg rowing is only practiced by men; women rows by sitting cross legged at the stern and use only their hands to row.

1 comment:

Jilson Thomas said...

This is great,,, you did a very good job. Looking forward to your next post...!!