IJCH 2016 Vol.2(1): 25-34 ISSN: 2382-6177
doi: 10.18178/ijch.2016.2.1.032

Wooden Fishing Vessel Building at Samut Sakhon: Its Last Breath

Budsaba Kanoksilapatham
Abstract—This research aims at presenting the historical accounts and the procedural steps reflecting local wisdom regarding the building of wooden fishing vessels at Samut Sakhon Province, Thailand. With help from community members, a list of interviewees was identified; a set of interview questions was constructed. Next, in-depth interviews and non-participant observation were conducted with remarks noted relating to the surrounding context. Finally, a focus group discussion was held to exchange opinions and verify the interview accounts. The study reveals that the guru of fishing vessel building is a Chinese Hainanese man who owned the first shipyard in Samut Sakhon Province about 100 years ago. The guru and other masters of wooden fishing vessel building contributed to strengthening this local wisdom knowledge. Without explicit instruction from the guru, these masters were able to acquire and sharpen their expertise at this shipyard “through the back door” using avid observation. Samut Sakhon vessels are uniquely known to be strong in construction and graceful in design. This local wisdom has never been recorded, but it is systematic, consisting of multiple steps. However, this building business went into decline, resulting in the closedown of the shipyards one after another. The last closure about ten years ago led to an end of wooden fishing vessel building. This study represents a record of this local wisdom to shed light on the community roots and disseminate it to the next generation to study, appreciate, and integrate it with classroom learning.

Index Terms—Building, fishing vessel, Samut Sakhon, wooden.

Budsaba Kanoksilapatham is with the Department of English, Faculty of Arts, Silpakorn University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand (e-mail: kanoksib@hotmail.com).

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Cite: Budsaba Kanoksilapatham, "Wooden Fishing Vessel Building at Samut Sakhon: Its Last Breath," International Journal of Culture and History vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 25-34, 2016.

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