Talk:Pike pole

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Edits of 10/3 (Pike pole fishing on the Ural)[edit]

I have restored the good faith edits made this date. If there is an authoritative source to support the Cossacks using a tool - a pike pole - rather than a weapon - a pike - to fish for sturgeon then that content may be restored to this page. Otherwise, the edits stand, both copy and content. Yours. Wikiuser100 (talk) 10:55, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

There was a reference to a Russian source you deleted. Section restored. Thank you for not restoring your nonsense phrase about "ceremonial sturgeon fishing" Staszek Lem (talk) 16:05, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Russian sources (e.g., the Encyclopedic Dictionary entry) are all quite precise on this: they use the term bagor багор ("pike pole" - the tool with a hook, used also by firefighters) rather than pika пика ("pike" - the Cossack weapon). They also are quite explicit in stating that fishing in this way was only permitted on only a single day in each winter, which was quite a special event for each community involved. -- Vmenkov (talk) 17:28, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Gentlemen, there seems to be some language-induced confusion here. A "pike pole" is a tool, used by loggers, firemen, linemen, and so on. A "pike" is a weapon...from which the modern tool descended. There's a page for the weapon: pike (weapon). Are you trying to suggest that (What, thousands?) of Cossacks abroad the land showed up on fishing day with an equal number of generally blunt tipped and hooked pike poles (the tool) to stab their sturgeons, rather than sharply pointed pikes? That their armies stocked side-by-side a pike pole (tool) per man (However it worked out.) and a pike (weapon)?
Is the confusion in the translation? “Pike pole” (in English) = The tool. “Pike pole” (Translated into English from, what, Russian?) = Pike, the weapon. You’re posting this content on the wrong page.
Go ahead and look at the image in the Infobox at the page for Ural Cossacks. Click on it. See the long pointy spears? They’re ‘’pikes’’…just like at the pike page, not tools.
I’ll let this rest a bit while you decide who’s going to move the content to the weapon page. Let’s not get in an edit war over this, please. Yours Wikiuser100 (talk) 18:29, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
That's a wise decision not to go into edit war over things you don't understand. The text is quite clear, including translation "bagor"="pike pole". If you don't know Russian, you may use google translate to get an approximate idea. In the future please assume good faith that editors know the language in quiestion and don't delve into guessworks when the text is quite clear. You managed to show amazing skills to misunderstand the written text, which, e.g., clearly talks about "pulling out" fish instead of "stabbing" in your guesswork. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:21, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Well, yes, the Ural Cossacks were resourceful people living in agricultural villages along the eponymous river. Besides their weapons (including the trademark Cossack pikes; пика) they of course had plenty of agricultural, fishing, boating etc. tools around their households, including, yes, pike poles (багор). I am translating relevant sections from the bagrenye багренье article in the Encyclopedic Lexicon, Vol IV (1835):

Bagrenye is a method of winter fishing in the Ural River, employed by the Ural Cossacks. The name of the technique comes from the implement with which the fish is caught, namely the bagor [pike pole]. The bagrenye is conducted as follows: fish in the Ural spends the winter lying at the bottom of the river's deeper sections, forming large shoals and layers, which sometimes stretch over a versta [about 1 km] or more. The Cossacks note these locations and notify their ataman and starshinas [officers]; the commanders then monitors [these locations] to ensure that no one disturbed the fish until the appointed time. When the day of the Bagrneye comes (always after the feast of the Nativity of Christ); the Cossacks presently in active service (sluzhivye) and active reserve (zhalovanyye) would get pike poles (bagry) and assemble in front of the host's office, with horses and sleighs. (Retired Cossacks, and those not in service, were not permitted to participate.) A signal would be given by shooting a cannon, and the Cossacks then ride to the Bagrenye site, each one making as many holes in the ice as he wants; however, he cannot bring any hired help. The fish, disturbed by the noise and the bagry [pike poles], starts running in the water back and forth, gets stuck on the hooks [of the pike poles], and is pulled out of the water. A lucky fisherman could catch over 50 sturgeons; besides, belugas are caught sometimes, and are pulled out by a crowd of people together. Bagrenye is conducted downstream of Uralsk, often at multiple locations. Among the Ural Cossacks this is not a law, but a custom sanctified by antiquity and maintained by the powers of the local authorities. The bagor-caught fish is sold to merchants, which specially come [to the Ural villages] for the Bagrenye time.

So that's it: hooked bagors (pike poles) all over, and not a single pika (pike). The activity takes place right outside the Ural Cossacks' home villages, not somewhere hundreds of miles away, so getting the bagor from home was not an issue.

In case the reader is not aware of what a bagor is, the same 1835 dictionary has an article on it (багор) as well:

Bagor or otporny kryuk [literally, "hook for pushing with"] is used mostly on rowed vessels. It consists of a metal pipe with two sharp hooks, one of which is straight and is served to push away [from things], and the other is bent, and is used to pull a vessel [toward you] or to hold it in a place. The pipe sits on a wooden pole, whose length depends on the size of the vessel and the [ownwer's] needs. Bagor is also used among firefighting implements.

So the dictionary compilers knew what a bagor was, and it is definitely a pike pole. The Cossacks certainly had plenty of row boats (see e.g. Stepan Razin), so it is not surprising that they'd have such tools at home. -- Vmenkov (talk) 19:22, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

One can actually see a hooked implement (the aforementioned bagor pike pole) held by a guy in the center front of the picture.

The late-19th century Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary also had an article on Багрение рыбы (pike-pole fishing). It explains that bagors were "длинные достающие до дна шесты с укрепленными на конце их большими стальными крюками" (long poles, reaching to the bottom of the river, with large still hooks attached to their ends). By this time, bagrenie was conducted by "huge teams of fishermen" with up to 10,000 pike poles used over a space 1-1.5 km long and 130 m (60 sazhen = 420 feet) wide, "as if forming a dense forest underwater". No wonder the sturgeon has gone scarce... -- Vmenkov (talk) 19:52, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

The article ru:Уральские казаки has a much more detailed description of bagrenie. It has a good number of sources. I am surprised that this stupid discussion is carried out without thorough google search. For example, it would be good to find the original source for the text searchable with "Лов красной рыбы баграми" (lots of copycats in the internets) Staszek Lem (talk) 01:11, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

On the timing of Bagrenie (in the first half of the 19th century): I must have misunderstood "день Багренья" ("the Pike-Pole Fishing day") in the 1835 dictionary as to mean the [only] day of the year when this kind of fishing was conducted. But I have to agree that Staszek Lem's apparent reading - "the day when the pike-pole fishing season starts" is more likely. Dahl's Dictionary (mid 19th-century) actually explains that there were two Bagrenie seasons every winter, the "lesser" in December and the "greater" in January. According to Dahl, the entire Ural Cossack Host was moving along the river, from Uralsk downstream, fishing one section of the river after another over a number of days. -- Vmenkov (talk) 01:35, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for your clear cited conent, User Vmenkov. I assume good faith in the translation, and appreciate the level-headed efforts and responses you have made, unlike another user interested in the subject who has variously manifested very poor Wikipedia social skills in this matter from his first summary revert of substantial page edits unrelated to Cossack fishing (continuing through a series of ad hominums); I haven't anything further to engage with them.
While you appear to have established Cossack soldiers in their thousands appeared to fish with pike poles this is the English Wikipedia; in terms of significance to its audience a single line to that effect would be sufficient for the article's purposes. Feel free to craft a suitable one that can be agreed on. I know you are well-suited to the task. Yours. Wikiuser100 (talk)