Vitorin - the fisherman
Bounded by the coast, Goa’s pristine sands and palm lined shores from Tiracol in the north to the southern most tip of Canacona, are some of the world’s most beaches like Calangute, Colva, Benaulim, Palolem among the few. The main occupation of the people along the coastal villages was fishing. Except during the monsoons, the fishermen used to venture out to the sea in wooden boats. Nestled among the coconut tree plantations, along the coastline, the fishermen used to build a temporary shack made of coconut trunk rafters and leaves. Here they would repair and store their nets, oars, anchors etc. The floor of the shack is covered with sand and sprinkled liberally with shells to prevent moisture. Displayed are his costume and utensils which he used in his everyday life.
Caitano - the coconut husker
Think of Goa and a coconut tree cannot be missed out of the picture. Coconut cultivation, is one of the
main money earner in many villages. Apart from the coconut, the principal derivative of this
is its sap “toddi” - used to distill the local liquor Feni, but other parts of the tree are put to good use, too.
The copra oil squeezed from the the young nuts is used for cooking or sold to soap and cosmetic manufacturers;
the coarse hair surrounding the shell produces fiber for rope, coir matting and furniture upholstery; dried palm
fronds make baskets, brooms and thatch, while the wood from the tree used to make rafters for houses.
This versatile plant has around 287 different uses.
At the vast coconut plantations of the “Bhatkar” landlord, the “Padkar” coconut plucks the coconut by climbing
each tree. The coconuts have to be plucked every 3 months. Caitano’s work entailed husking the coconut fruit with
a spear (kublo). This husked fruit was sold to households for preparing food as well as for extracting oil. The bark
was used to make coir like mats and different ropes. Also one sees the tools used for breaking the trunk to rafter
by the coconut plucker.
Hand made coconut husk rope is considered one of the strongest rope. They are made of different thickness for different uses. The fiber for making rope is obtained from coconut husk. It is buried in the river bed for a year to season. After seasoning, the husk is taken out and beaten with a wooden stick to remove waste material. The product is richly seasoned coir. This coir is then rolled between the palms to make a thin string called 'Sumb". When bundles of 'Sumb' are ready, an antique machine called the 'Gadi' is used to twist the 'Sumb' into ropes.