Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What Moves Your Boat in Bangladesh

Reader Deek Rose steered me toward his video of boats in Bangladesh.

The footage in Always a River to Cross was shot in 1996 and 1998. The work's title obviously refers to the geography of Bangladesh, which is essentially a huge delta of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. Getting anywhere in Bangladesh, especially during the wet season, usually involves water transport.

What struck me most about the video -- aside from the beauty of Rose's photography and the skill of his editing -- was the variety of propulsion methods used on traditional boat types. There are several types of oars, oar pivots, and styles of rowing; poling; paddling; spritsails of more than one type; stern sculling; inboard engines; and engine-powered towing.

There are also fascinating boat types to note and some footage of boatbuilding activities. Overall, a fine video. Thanks for sharing, Deek!

1 comment:

  1. I once read a very good article on the life of a Boatman and his family in Bangladesh. earned their living by moving bulk cargoes and compared with subsistence farmers on inadequate land it was not a bad living.

    Traditional boat people across the world do seem to reach a modest standard of living before over fishing, regulation, and competition from large companies etc ruin the basis of their lives. Sadly it is sometimes the adoption of industrial products that hasten their own demise, an outboard motor can be very useful, for example, but the fuel and parts must be bought with hard cash.