Crew Culture - New Zealand Seafarers Under Sail and Steam
Crew Culture - New Zealand Seafarers Under Sail and Steam
Atkinson, Neill
Te Papa Press, Wellington, 2001. Good condition. In this fascinating book, historian Neill Atkinson looks at New Zealand's merchant seafarers working in the coastal and international trades during the first 100 years of the country's life. During this time, seafarers were among the most important and distinctive groups of Nealand workers. Whether wrestling with canvas high above the deck in a howling gale, or heaving coal in the stifling bowels of a steamship, their strength and skill were indispensable back in the days of sail and steam. These men had a vibrant subculture, with its own language, songs, rituals and myths, which exerted an influence on the development of male identity in New Zealand. Yet while there have been many books published on famous ships, master mariners, shipwrecks and shipping lines, and many stirring tales told of mountainous seas and heroic deeds, the lives of ordinary sailors have remained obscure. Beginning around 1840, when Maori played a prominent part in the coastal trade, the book charts the rise of steamships and their eventual dominance over sail, and closes with the Second World War, by which time New Zealand's domestic shipping industry and the distinctiveness of its workforce were on the wane. Atkinson explores the rhythms and routines of working life at sea - the rigorous discipline, harsh conditions and constant dangers; the lore of the sea, including yarns, shanties and rituals like crossing the line; the struggle for improved working conditions and the conflicts that arose from the rigid hierarchy dividing seamen and their officers; the alluring world of the waterfront, with its boarding houses, bars and brothels; and the traits which these men embodied their rough, hard-drinking ways, their generosity and stoicism, their pride and prejudices and the strength of their mateship. This is the original crew culture, which subsequently helped to shape the work and social habits of other groups of men, from the kauri bushmen to sports teams, in New Zealand's unique history of male endeavor.
Second hand Paperback