Meet the incredible leg rowers of Myanmar – the talented men and children who use a unique balancing technique to capture fish
Meet the incredible leg rowers of Myanmar – the talented men and children who use a unique technique to capture fish.
Balancing gracefully on one leg, the upright leg-rowing technique, which is unique to Intha, allows fishermen to expertly navigate their boats through the dense Inle Lake.
The unusual stance, which involves standing on the stern and wrapping one leg around the oar, also gives the fishermen the best view of the lake and frees up one arm so they can capture fish in the cone shaped net.
This almost acrobatic rowing style has fascinated tourists for years as they watch the agile fishermen propel their boats effortlessly across the 11 mile-long lake.
But the unusual technique is only practiced by men – women still row with their hands while sitting at the stern.
These stunning shots were taken just after a monsoon by retired teacher, Anne Berlin.
The 68-year-old from Havixbeck in Germany was on a tour through Myanmar when she had the opportunity to capture the atmospheric images.
She even climbed aboard the fisherman’s boat to get a better view.
Anne said: “This particular lake is known by its one leg rowers. The traditional fisherman still use the leg rowing technique.
“They stand at the stern on one leg and wrap one leg round an oar so they can use their hands for fishing.
“The leg rowing style is only practiced by the men. Even the children learn this skill as soon as possible so they accompany their fathers on their boat fishing tours.
“I was on a three weeks photo and trekking tour through Myanmar and in the afternoon we were on a boat trip back to our guest house.
“Most of the pictures I have taken sitting in our boat but for one I was allowed to climb onto the one leg rower’s boat.
“The boat moved unsteadily from side to side and so did I.
“It was an extraordinary “place of work” I was kneeling and lying on the ground. I took the photo through a small hole in the wicker basket.
“The sky was still very cloudy because of the monsoon rain some time ago. But there were some gaps and the low-lying sun was shining through them. The scene was marvellous and the lighting was wonderful.
“I was fascinated seeing the men and the children, keeping themselves balanced on one leg as they did their work – catching fish in baskets.”