Arame Seaweed

  • Womenscorner Desk
  • October 8, 2020

Arame may be a sort of seaweed which is of course rich in vitamins and minerals, including calcium, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc and iodine. These are highly beneficial to the skin and hair, making seaweed prized for its ability to cleanse, tone, soften and calm the skin.

The arame that we use is harvested from the coastline of Japan. it's traditionally gathered by women, referred to as 'Ama', who dive up to 20m without breathing equipment to collect the arame from the seabed particularly impressive as long as they need a mean age of 70 years old.

Arame seaweed may be a sort of kelp with wide leaves, up to a foot long . The arame that we use comes from the coastline of the Ise peninsula in South-East Japan, where it's typically gathered by hand within the late summer months of July and August. We use this mineral-rich, skin-softening seaweed in our Sea Vegetable Soap and our Big Blue Bath Ballistic.

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Seaweed is rich in vitamins and minerals, including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc, and arame contains particularly high levels of iodine, all of which have wonderful effects on the skin and hair. Arame has featured in Japanese history for thousands of years and is traditionally harvested by women, as they're said to be ready to dive deeper and cope better with the colder water where the arame grows along the ocean floor.

The women who dive to gather the arame are referred to as ‘Ama’, which translates as ‘women of the sea’. The average age of the Ama is around 70 years old, which is impressive as long as the ladies are ready to dive as deep as 20m, without the utilization of any breathing device . the sole equipment used may be a pair of goggles, flippers and an instrument called a ‘kama’, which may be a sort of sickle used for cutting and prizing the arame faraway from the seabed.

When collecting the arame, the Ama wear a standard long-sleeved white dress with a bonnet-style hat, which has the japanese protection symbol stitched onto it, to safeguard them from danger when out stumped . the ladies also wear a wetsuit underneath, to stay them warm once they are diving.

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It takes around one hour for the Ama to fill alittle fishing smack with arame and, as diving is such a tiring task, they only spend a maximum of 90 minutes stumped before they retire to their small huts by the ocean, called ‘ama-goya’, where they will sit back open fires to talk , cook, perform washing, and crafts, before the second low water of the day once they repeat the gathering process.

When the arame has been collected, it's delivered to shore and sun dried on the concrete pavement for a couple of days. When it's fully dried it's weighed and payment is formed . It takes approximately 5kg of fresh seaweed to supply the finished weight of 1kg of dried arame. There are self-imposed restrictions in situ which dictated what proportion arame are often harvested from certain areas. this is often agreed between the Ama and therefore the local fishermen to assist protect the sea’s natural ecosystem and safeguard the utilization of arame in Japanese culture.

Unfortunately, the longer term of the Ama already looks uncertain. If consumers eat less arame, then there's a lesser need for the Ama to gather it, and therefore the younger generation are increasingly driven to figure in towns and cities instead of harvesting arame as their mothers and grandmothers have done before them.

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