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Woman-divers: profession of the future

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There are many professions where generation succession plays a positive role. Dynasties and trends are being created in such way. One of the most ancient and unusual activities is modern diving. For somebody it is bread and butter, for others it’s an exotic new fashioned hobby, and there are some people who found their way of life in this activity.

A profession of diver historically originated in Japan. Few people know that at that time it was solely women’s profession. For two thousand years three times a day young women and even girls had been diving to get pearl, shell-fish and agar-agar from the ocean floor. They did it without special equipment often using only a mask and a breechcloth. They were called ama.

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It is considered that women could hold their breath longer than men thanks to the developed subcutaneous fat, that’s why they mastered this hard profession. Young women could dive to a depth of 15 – 20 meters staying underwater not less than two minutes 60 times a day. During one season ama could earn more money than men during the whole year, so, the women-divers felt themselves independently enough. While being financially independent they easily chose a husband and enjoyed the life as it was possible.

Today in Japan the profession of ama id dying. There are several woman-divers from that times who are up in years but still faithful to their profession.

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But they are not alone – unusual woman-divers also live on South Korean island Jeju. The youngest woman is 75 years old! They call themselves Haenyeo and earn money diving into the ocean to get oysters, calamaries and other sea animals. Several times a day Haenyeo dive to a depth of 30 meters and hold their breath for two minutes.

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In fact, the tradition of saturation diving in South Korea traces its roots to fifth century. First divers for oysters and sea hedgehogs were men, but in 18th century this profession became absolutely feminine.

People disparagingly behave to woman-divers of the time because they were considered as uneducated and faceless. But modern woman-divers are respectable and self-confident people.

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Even though the women claim that they are the last of Haenyeo and ama, it is not true. An unusual allegiance and love to the profession and water-related hazard attracts not only tourists who are ready to wait for the moment away the hours to take a photo with these unique women. According to the above-mentioned story, the profession of diver becomes a certain prototype of woman independence and self-confidence which ineffably sparks other women’s interest.

Popsop got acquainted with modern woman-divers, potential successors of Haenyeo and ama who consider waters as their home and diving as their way of life.


Lidiane Moreira S. Magri
 (Instagram — @lidiane.moreira5) is a therapist, Master in the field of biomedical engineering, teacher and dedicated diver. Her web account is full of photos from saturation diving which is a way of relaxing for her.

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Cindyreef La Pitu (Instagram — @cindyreef) is a researcher, sea environmentalist and a diver. Here you can find everything: from coral reefs to photos with octopuses. There is a whole life in the diving.

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Callie Cattell (Instagram — @calliecattell) is a fisher and commercial diver. For Callie diving plays an important role in his life – it is his work, hobby, way of life as well as news feed full of beautiful photos.

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A user under the nickname @szpilki_w_podrozy has a blog about travelling and goes in for diving. Moreover, she is an instructor and a photographer in one. It is especially seen on several photos.

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