Charms and Rituals

Fishing societies often turn to charms, amulets, or totems as protective devices. In some cases, these objects are worn by an individual; in others, they serve as shrines for a crew, family, or community as a whole.

Shark Priest's Fishing Boat

Shark priest's fishing float, Solomon Islands, 1970s

Floats were baited with hermit crabs and set out about a dozen at a time. Flying fish caught by the floats nourished dead priests as they became ancestor sharks §.
courtesy of Sarah Keene Meltzoff

Ocean Planet Exhibition Floorplan

gene carl feldman ( (301) 286-9428

Judith Gradwohl, Smithsonian Institution (Curator/Ocean Planet)