Coracle World Heritage

Marion Blockley delivers an illustrated talk on Coracle World Heritage. The talk includes Home videos of coracles and coracle making in India and Vietnam by Peter Badge and includes some fascinating Vietnamese water puppets.

The famous painting of the Iron Bridge by William Williams, an icon of the World Heritage Site and its role in the Industrial Revolution also depicts another global heritage, that of the coracle tradition.

The tiny hunched figure scuttling across the painting bottom right is a coracle man, symbol of a rural riverine tradition in the Gorge that goes back hundreds of years before the start of the Industrial Revolution.

The coracle may have been one of the first forms of human transport on water. It was easy to build and used locally found materials such as wood, bamboo and animal hide, waterproofed with bitumen, pitch or lacquer.

In the Himalayas they were covered in Yak Hide over a frame of willow or juniper wood, in India they used water buffalo hide and in North America from around 1000 years ago they used Bison hide.


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