Mumbai's Machhi-walis - Fisher Women
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The Mumbai Machhi-walis belong to the Koli (fisherfolk) community. The fishermen go out to sea and bring fresh catch. Now it is the job of the fisherwomen (also called fishwives) to sell the fish in local fish markets. There are those too, who buy fish from the wharf in early morning hours to sell in the market.
The machhi-walis (Kolins) are hard-working, aggressive by nature and fiercely economically independent women. A Kolin's day begins at the break of dawn. After cooking food for the entire family, she buys fish from the wharf and sells it at the local fish market, or even from home to home (to regular customers) till the fish is all sold out.
Standing out distinctly in a crowd, with sarees, noisy language (including abusive phrases) and traditional, chunky jewellery, the Machhi-wali invests most of her savings in gold.
Living a simple life, their food is usually curry, rice and fried fish.