Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fyke Nets and Folklife

Photo: Mr Freeman Upshall, Placentia, showing the wing of a fyke net used for the eel fishery, with a speedboat he made in the background.

I was in Placentia today for a meeting at the Avalon Gateway Regional Economic Development office, about the upcoming Living RICH (Rural Intangible Cultural Heritage) Symposium, to be held heritage week, the third week of February. After the meeting, Margie Hatfield, Heritage & Tourism Director with the Town of Placentia, took me over and introduced me to Mr Freeman Upshall, local tradition bearer and jack-of-all-trades. Mr Upshall and I had a cup of tea and a long chat that ranged from eel fishing to boat building to memories of the whale fishery.

Stay tuned to this blog for more on the Living RICH Symposium and on Mr Upshall!

For those of you interested (there must be other etymology nerds out there) "fyke" is derived from the Dutch fuik, and means "a long bag net kept open by hoops" according to Merriam-Webster, and you can see a picture of one in action here.

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