Although the canoes they were using appeared primitive, the fishers of Kerala were admired for their prowess and knowledge of the marine environment.
In short, they were expert fishers. This photograph displays two small-scale fishers returning from the fishing grounds in a sail-driven canoe. In the background is the church of Neendakara, where the Indo-Norwegian Project was based. The photographer has also included the rear end of a beach-landing boat produced by the Project. Regretfully, the Project’s attempt to modernise the small-scale fishing fleet of Kerala failed. From 1957 onward, the project focused instead on introducing trawl vessels that could only be based in harbour towns.
Source: Klausen, Arne Martin (1968) Kerala Fishermen and the Indo-Norwegian Pilot Project. Oslo/London: Norwegian University Press/Allen & Unwin. Photograph probably dated 1960/61.