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British Culture, British Customs and British Traditions
This section is in advanced English and is only intended to be a guide, not to
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A coracle, from the Welsh "cwrwgl", is a primitive type of boat . It is very light, oval in shape, formed by stretching canvas over a framework of split and interwoven rods, and well-coated with tar and pitch to make it water-tight. According to early writers the framework was covered with horse or bullock hide (corium).
So light and portable are these boats that they can easily be carried on the fishermans shoulders when proceeding to and from his work. Coracle-fishing is performed by two men, each seated in his coracle and with one hand holding the net while with the other he plies his paddle. When a fish is caught, each hauls up his end of the net until the two coracles are brought to touch and the fish is then secured.
The coracle forms a unique link between the modern life of Wales and its remote past. This primitive type of boat was in existence amongst the Britons at the time of the invasion of Julius Caesar , who has left a description of it, and even employed it in his Spanish campaign. They were historically common in the British Isles , but are now only rarely seen in areas of West Wales and Shropshire , notably on the River Severn . The Welsh Rivers Teifi and Tywi are the best places to find coracles in Wales, although the type of coracle differs depending on the river. On the Teifi they are most frequently seen between Cenarth, and Cilgerran and the village of Llechryd .
The Irish currach or curragh is a similar, but larger, vessel still in use today. Other related craft include the Native American Bullboat, the Iraqi Gufa, the Indian Parisal, Vietnamese Thung-Chai, and the Ku-Dru and Kowas of Tibet.
There is a pub in Sundorne, Shrewsbury called "The Coracle". It uses a picture of a man using one on a river as its pub sign.
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