The skill of a pearl diver has long been a thing of the past - "pearl fields" of natural origin are severely depleted, some have been completely destroyed as a result of the bombing. The rest are under protection, there is strict control over the catching of shells. Cultured pearl farms are killing the romance of the diving craft.
Experienced divers descend to a depth of 10-12 meters up to fifty times a day, holding their breath for about three minutes. Try to time the time and not breathe as much as you can, now compare your result with that of the pearl divers! It is not surprising if these results are very different, because mainly residents of coastal villages are engaged in this fishery from an early age.
Do not think that it improves health - after a few years of such work, avid divers begin to experience problems with vision and hearing, and by the age of thirty they look like old people withered by adversity.
And in our time on the coast of Japan there is a whole world of villages, which consist of divers and divers. These divers and pearl divers are called Ama.
They mine Akoya pearls or sea pearls. It is also mined in China and Vietnam, it grows in oysters that live in seawater, and it is valued six times more than its equal-sized freshwater counterpart. The color of Akoya pearls is very diverse - it is white, and cream, and pink, and silver, and even greenish-black. The usual diameter of the best pearls is from 5 to 9 millimeters, pearls larger than this size are very rare and very expensive.
Imagine how poetic the image of a young naked maiden with slanting eyes, diving into transparent water, pink from the rising sun! Ama traditionally dives naked or topless, wearing only a rope belt with a shell extraction tool.
Divers are brought to the dive site in a boat, a rope passed through the block is attached, and a belt with lead weights is hung to make them weaker.
Upon reaching the bottom, the girl releases ballast, which is pulled by her assistants. Now she needs to start collecting shells immediately before she runs out of air in her lungs. When Ama feels that her further stay under water is impossible, she pulls the rope and the men quickly pull out the beautiful diver with a load of shells from the depths.
And in the depths of the ocean, washing the shores of Australia, Indonesia and the Hawaiian Islands, in its warm bays, larger oysters live than in the seas where the Ama dive. These oysters grow oceanic pearls, which are somewhat more valuable than sea pearls. The environment of ocean bays is changeable and unstable, so the percentage of rejects in such pearls is higher. Its size is larger than the sea - 9-14 mm.
Polynesian pearl fishers dive to a fantastic depth of 35-40 meters every day during the whole season of the shell collection. Their secret lies in the amazing symbiosis and union with the ocean, which are at the birth of the little islander. Polynesian pearl divers are usually tall, muscular males with a broad chest and can dive for up to six hours. Unfortunately, we will never repeat these magical dives into the mysterious world of the ocean without special devices!
The so-called Tahitian pearls are mined here. The color of this pearl ranges from light gray to almost black, with a diameter of 11-12 mm. Each pearl in Tahiti is unique - the black-lipped mollusks in which they grow rarely produce pearls of perfectly regular shape, so jewelers have to carefully sort out many seemingly identical pearls in order to assemble a necklace.
In the waters of Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia, "South Sea pearls" are bred - this is the most expensive and largest pearl, its diameter is from 10 to 20 mm. The clam in which these pearls mature is called Pinctada maxima. Pearls of the South Seas have the thickest layer of mother-of-pearl and the richest palette, they can be white, or they can be cast in shades from golden to orange, the depth of its black color has absorbed the velvet of the southern night, and the clarity of blue is comparable only to the purity of the morning sky.