Iconic One-Legged Rowing Fisherman OR Intha Fisherman of Inle-Lake, Myanmar
By Tania Chatterjee
Inle Lake of Shan State is one of the iconic destinations of Myanmar. The lake is surrounded by hills, floating vegetable gardens and villages. People live in this lake known as “Intha”. It is amazing to experience that, Intha community or “ lake people” mostly depending on this lake water and self-sufficient to survive on this lake. Their livelihood and daily activities all are on water.
The iconic representative of this community is one-legged rowing fisherman or popularly known as “Intha fisherman”. This fishing skill is unique to Inle Lake, it requires high level of balance, technique and physical strength. The fisherman balance themselves on one end of the boat, wrapped one leg on round an oar, leave their hands free to manipulate the conical shaped fishing net while rowing the boat.
The entire fishing technique is remarkable to experience. This unique technique of fishing is believed to be dated back to 12th century and has been passed down from generation after generation. This indigenous fishing technique is definitely an art form. On the backdrop of lake, it creates mesmerizing visual stories of life. But unfortunately, this fishing technique has drastically dropped nowadays, because of modernization and various environmental issues. Hopefully, in coming days Intha fisherman will not remain only in Myanmar postcards, this unique culture will survive for the future generation also.
PRESENTING THE ICONIC INTHA FISHERMAN PHOTOGRAPHICALLY ON MY OWN WAY !