Fisherman’s Village

Old HarbourHermanus, a fisherman’s village:

The pioneers of Hermanuspietersfontein were experienced fishermen who understood and respected the sea.  Six days of the week they laboured from early dawn and when they returned from the sea with boats laden with fish, their wives and children were waiting to do the cleaning and curing.

The fishing culture comprises much of interest.  The Afrikaans word “ses-riem” is a boat with six rowers.  The afrikaans word “riem”  is an oar.

On the side of a boat one finds  little iron triangles for the oars to rest on.  When letting a boat in and out of water, they had a ritual with a rhythmic in afrikaans “eena-tweena nou, eena-tweena nou, hy loop … eena-tweena nou” translated = one – two, one – two there he go.

They dried fish on bokkomstands (scaffolds)  in the fishbay and in their backyards.  In most cases the children also became fishermen.  It was a true fishermen’s village.

Information:  S.J. du Toit           Photo: Old Harbour Museum

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