Oldest order of female divers

Last updated: November 10, 2017 at 21:07 pm

• The Ama divers (Sea People) of Japan have been diving for food and pearls for 2,000 years. Traditional Ama divers wear only a loincloth (isogi) and no diving equipment. The isogi is white to ward off sharks and bad luck. Today, it is worn mostly for tourists while others dive with masks, fins, and even a wetsuit. Ama divers are also known as Uminchu (Okinawa), and Kaito (Izu Peninsula).

• In South Korea, the Haenyo (Sea Women) of Jeju Island took over diving from men in the 18th century because they were exempt from a new tax. Many became the biggest earners in their families while the men stayed at home to take care of the children. Some have made small fortunes diving for high-priced abalone and conch. In 1950, the number of Haenyo was about 30,000 on Jeju. In 2003, there were only 5,650 and 85% were over 50 years old.

SOURCE:
Verified by Diving Almanac & Book of Records official

Diving Almanac Feature Link:

Ama & Haenyo | 10 outstanding women every scuba diver should know!

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Jeffrey Gallant

Jeffrey Gallant is the Editor-in-Chief and Records Keeper of the Diving Almanac & Book of Records. He is also a contributing editor of DIVER Magazine, and the scientific director of the Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group (GEERG). Jeffrey started diving in 1982.

By | 2017-11-10T21:07:57+00:00 April 6th, 2017|Freediving & Swimming, Records|

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