| Haji Mohd Daud bin Abd Rahman |
THE Malay community of Brunei back in the day would catch fish as their source of living, especially for residents of Kg Ayer.
Some of the popular fishing methods used back then were Pukat, Rambat, Kilong, Tugu, Bubu, Pukat Rantau, Rigis, Rawai, Kail and Bintur Ketam.
However, some of these fishing methods have gone extinct, as the experts are no longer around except for those who had inherited the skills from their elders.
There is also a relative difference in the taste of the fish after cooking.
Rivers in Brunei now are mostly polluted by chemicals such as washing detergents and Chlorox. Residents now would not use the river for bathing for fear of crocodiles.
An old fishing method known as ‘menyelambau’ in 1958 – Photos: Haji Mohd Daud bin Abd Rahman
These days, fishing gear and equipment are easily available. Back then, a fisherman would only use a size-8 thread which was white in colour.
The fishermen would pay women to knit the fishing net. Such work would take from six months to a year depending on its size making use of tools such as Sikuan, Serapang and Sukat-Sukat.
The cost of knitting a net would vary between $25 and $30 and such amount was regarded quite high in monetary value back in the 1950s.
Once the net is completed, the elderly would go into the forest to fetch Ubar wood whose bark would serve to strengthen every thread of the net, a process involving the use of hot water and drying in the sun.