Donation of a fish trap collection

A new home for over 100 different fishing traps and implements

After leaving Thailand for an assignment in China it was difficult to find the right place for my fish trap collection. Originally, I wanted to open up some kind of museum in Austria, but this proved not to be practical. I therefore stored all traps, nets, spearheads, and whatever at a Thai friend’s house in Bangkok. This collection took up a whole room. Chock-bloc full. I therefore decided to donate the whole collection to an institute in Thailand. They should use it by comparing the various styles and detailed designs.

Setthaburt Bumphen School, Minburi

In the end, I decided to donate it to a high school in Minburi, a town outside Bangkok to the east. Minburi is a Muslim enclave amongst a sea of Buddhists. These people were shifted by King Chulalongkorn in the second half of the 19th century from the deep South to the heartland of Thailand. The same number of Buddhists were sent reciprocally to settle in the South. King Chulalongkorn wanted to equalize the population structure in his kingdom and promote understanding among the various religions. 150 years later we have to recognize that his plan did not fully work out. In the deep South Buddhists are the target of religious terror and in the Kingdom Center, Muslims are very marginalized, on the lowest rungs of the social ladder and most of them are poor. But they like fishing.

I therefore thought, let’s show them fishing traps, nets, and spearheads from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, and Japan, and maybe they find a foreign idea, that could also work for them. Mrs. Supitcha, my former F&A Manager in Thailand handed over the collection, as I already was stationed in China.

Her email to me after donating the fishing implements read as follows (I left her original wording):

Dear Khun Kurt,
Last Saturday, we donated your fishing baskets collection to Setthaburt Bumphen School, Minburi, as you instructed. They are very exciting and appreciated to your collection. The headmaster came to receive by himself . They will set up at the museum and send the photos to you. They passed the big thankfulness to you.
Best Regards, Supitcha

Lessons learned by donating my fish trap collection

  • I regard fishing traps and -implements as living things. They should serve people by either providing food or as study materials.
  • It was a great pleasure to donate useful items to people who hopefully will make use of them.

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