WOODEN GOGGLES BAJAU
Beautifully handcrafted Wooden Goggles
Local name: Antipara
Materials: Hard tropical wood, brass fishing swivel, 3mm glass, marine epoxy, black rubber strap fishing nylon
The history of swimming goggles dates back at least to the 14th Century when writers described Persian pearl divers using goggles with windows made of the polished layer of tortoise shells. That these goggles were possibly imported to Mediterranean countries can be deduced from the 16th Century illustration of Venetian coral divers using goggles.
Goggles mysteriously disappeared from use, possibly because enslaved American Indian and African divers, who did most of the world’s commercial diving from the 16th Century onward, did not use goggles. Polynesian skin divers were known to use bamboo or goggles carved of wood. Originally, these wooden goggles had no lenses, but trapped air when the face was down, forming an air bubble over the eye that enabled the divers to see clearly when submerged. With the introduction of glass, the Polynesians added lenses.
Today these wooden goggles are still being used by indigenous ethnic groups in and around the Pacific. These divers hunt and gather sea creatures in up to 20m depth for their livelihood like seen in these videos. They are hereby also part of the roots for the new sport of freediving.
Wooden Goggles are still used all over the Pacific and it was a group of sea gypsies in the South of the Philippines where we made friends and got inspiration.
Wooden Goggles can be used like any other swimming goggle.
The missing rubber seal is only a challenge in the beginning. After adjusting them they will fit like any other goggle.
Can wooden goggles be used to dive down deeper?
After the development of SCUBA equipment there emerged the need for masks that can be equalized. These Masks included the nosepart so that the bigger water pressure in the depth can be equalized by the diver with a small blow of air through his nose into the mask.
“Eye-Only” masks were from then on only used for swimming purposes, because in depths deeper than 5m they can produce a dangerous mask squeeze.
Only now we know that with wooden dive goggles you can dive deeper than 20 meters without having a mask squeeze.
The theory why this is possible is still not quiet known. Feel free to tell us your opinion.