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The pearl oyster (Pinctada), which is more nearly related to the mussel than to
the edible oyster, breeds on the pearl banks in the Gulf of Mannar some miles off
the barren uninhabited coast of the Mannar District in the Northern Province. The
oysters breed and produce pearls very erratically. In my day there was a
Superintendent of Pearl Fisheries, Hornell, who had a steamer at his disposal
and, I think, a dredger. He inspected the oyster banks in the autumn and if he
found that there ...
There he shovelled oysters into a large basket which was attached to another
rope. When he shook the rope, he was hauled up by his man- duck into the boat.
This went on all day. There were 473 boats divided into two fleets which fished
on alternate days; the largest number of boats to go out on any one day was 286.
In the afternoon the Superintendent fired a gun out on the Banks and all the
dhows and boats raced for the shore.1 The Arabs ran their boats up on to the
sand and ...
The method of extracting the pearls from the oysters was primitive and insanitary.
The oysters were put into a canoe or dug-out and allowed to rot for several days;
when the oysters had decayed, sea- water was put into the canoe which was
gently rocked and the seawater gradually poured off; there upon the bottom of the
canoe was a sediment of sand, putrid oyster, and pearls. As the Fishery went on
and the whole camp became full of thousands of putrid and putrescent oysters, ...
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In the feudal society of Ceylon "I felt that there was some depth of happiness rather than pleasure, of satisfaction, . . . which the western world is losing or has lost." (p 158) Judgments such as ... Read full review