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Galicia is a world power in the fishing sector, and we have a millennial experience in the net making. We have taken the following text from the Gran Enciclopedia Gallega:

From Ribadeo to A Guarda, in the small bays and harbours, there appears the "redeira" or "atadeira", that is, the sea woman, young or old, who makes nets, by interweaving threads and by moving the stylized wooden needle; this work is done by old sailors as well.

Some years ago, the nets, which first were made of cotton and then of hemp, were washed in fountains and public washing places and were extended to dry in the dock, something now saved by the use of nylon. People dyed these nets red or brown. In order to do this, they put the nets in stone basins, which were communal, with a mixture of birch peels and red pine. This mixture was smashed with a wooden pestle and boiled in big boilers or in potsfor 10 hours. Then the boiling ink was taken to the "gamela da casca" (a kind of small boat made of some tree bark) where the net was sunk. This process could also be done in the pot or in the boiler, and in the stone basin if the net was really big.


According to the popular belief, when nets were being made or mended, it was forbidden to name any snake, any toad or any owl because they brought bad luck. But on the contrary, to spill some wine over the nets was seen as a good luck sign. Once the net was prepared, holy water was spilt over it so that the net throws were good, or the net was beaten with a holly bough while people recited the following spell:

Little holly, my sweet child,
here I come to look for you,
bring my husband good luck
when he is to throw and pull.

Nowadays, the "redeiras" carry on mending the nets that break against the rocks or they weave new ones, with their ancient art. Not even with the use of nylon has the net lost the charm of its handicraft. www.marinahispanica.com