Weekend Excerpt: Words of the Lagoon

I wanted to share an excerpt from the book I’m currently reading. The sharp-eyed among you will spot that this book is from Palau, rather than Fiji, the country about which I’m currently blogging. I am still WAY behind on my blogging, and the books I’m posting about are ones I read a year ago. Meanwhile I’ve kept up with the reading, and am nearly finished with the South Pacific and about to head into Asia. I thought I might occasionally share bits of the books I’m currently reading, both as a way to bring the blog more in step with my actual progress, and as a sort of commonplace book to preserve the things I like best, or want to remember, or that are most ridiculous, as I read them. From my Palau entry:

If a light is shined into the eyes ofa shark and then moved smoothly away, the shark will frequently follow the beam, often at considerable speed. The newcomer to Palau is often skeptical of stories he hears about Palauan divers intentionally driving sharks directly into fellow divers using a beam of light. The stories are true, but the practice is not quite as reckless as it might sound and is not meant maliciously. Only small sharks (three to four feet) are used. And, as Ngiraklang states, “You only do this to a friend–as a joke. A stranger would get very angry.”

From Words of the Lagoon: Fishing and Marine Lore in the Palau District of Micronesia, R.E. Johannes

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