Fishermen of Inle Lake

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Fishermen of Inle Lake

Inle Lake in Myanmar is notable for its beauty and unique way of life. One of the most distinctive practices on the lake is their method of fishing. Men balance on one leg on the stern of their long, narrow boats, using one hand, aided by the other leg, wrapped around a long oar, to propel the craft, while holding a cone-shaped basket in the other hand, as in above. Once positioned where they have spotted fish, the man thrusts the woven basket into the shallow waters, capturing fish within the barrel of the basket. There are several variations, all performed with such effortless skill and symmetry that you can believe you are witnessing a unique ballet.

But as anyone who’s every attempted to stand on one leg can attest, this form of fishing requires immense strength, balance and control. And as pictures really can show far better than words can tell, I’ll simply share some of my pictures taken on the lake.

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A synchronized ballet.

A synchronized ballet.

Heading out into the early morning mists.

Heading out into the early morning mists.

A contemplative moment -- or prayer.

A contemplative moment — or prayer.

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