At the annual Dhow Festival in Doha, we are treated to demonstrations of some of the old traditions relating to boats. One never knows what one will see, and this year I stumbled onto the festival quite by chance. I stopped to watch the man who was weaving baskets from some part of the palm tree, stiff flat sticks, in a way that formed 6 pointed stars at the joins. Having recently tried willow basket weaving for the first time, I had an increased appreciation of basketry methods, and watched attentively as he tensioned the strips against one another.
The men could see my interest, and they showed me the finished trap, similar to this one, with a tapered entry point for the fish - although this one had the entry point in the side wall of the basket, with a back door that could be latched and opened to remove the fish. A different style of wide open basket was also made for carrying fish. The lighting was not great, so I didn't try to take many pictures.
After I had examined and admired for a bit, the weaver asked me if I knew anything about fish.
While I thought I was observing and talking to a weaver, I was actually talking to a fisherman. This struck me because it demonstrated, once again, how artificially separate craft skills are to those of us who learn them outside of any context of traditional use.