‘That’s the boat that reared us’. Maritime culture, place and the role of the ‘Galway hooker’ in southwest Conamara
Ó Sabhain, Pádraig
MetadataShow full item record
This item's downloads: 2 (view details)
Cited 0 times in Scopus (view citations)
Ó Sabhain, Pádraig, & McGrath, Brian. (2020). ‘That’s the boat that reared us’. Maritime culture, place and the role of the ‘Galway hooker’ in southwest Conamara. Folk Life, 58(2), 77-96. doi:10.1080/04308778.2020.1804161
The West of Ireland 'Galway hooker' holds iconic status in the region's maritime heritage and identity. In this paper we explore its significance from the perspective ofbadoiri(boatmen or hooker sailors) andsaortha baid(boat wrights) in southwest Conamara, whose lives and family histories revolve around this traditional wooden sailing craft. Selections from thirty-three interviews reveal emotions and meaningful experiences resonating through family biographies: stories of sacrifice, loss, obligation, love, reverence and excitement. We also trace how the hooker characterizes a tangible culture, animating a distinct local, embodied knowledge and sense of place. No longer premised upon economic livelihood, but primarily practiced as a leisure and heritage activity, the hooker and its material culture confer an ontologically sensed continuity of connection to place and culture over time. Here we provide insights to the centrality of the hooker for coastal communities and its sedimented, intergenerational emotional and cultural connections.