diving is very dangerous if not quite impossible; but when the song of
the sea is hushed to low crooning, and the gentle roll of the waves
does no more than playfully slap the boats in passing, then in the seas
where men dive for pearls they gather to the harvest of gems.
are two ways of diving—naked, and with dress. The former is the common
method throughout the Orient and is practised to-day after the same
manner that it was in the days of the Pharaohs and the Caesars, for the
primitive method survives with few variations wherever eastern people
control the fisheries.
the fishing season one sees now in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf and
about Ceylon, the same scenes as they were enacted there before Rome
was a city, or France a nation, or the Macedonians overran Egypt. Naked
divers, diving into fifteen to forty feet of water, use few aids. They
grease their bodies, put greased cotton in the ears and a forked stick,
or tortoise-shell clip, upon the nostrils to compress them, hang a
wide-mouthed wicker basket or net at the waist, and they are ready.