~ Sea lexicon ~

Alakam – Title for the Story
Language: Jeseri
Location: Sri Lanka
Contributor: Lakshmi Pradeep

Crabs are called alakam and hermit crabs are called komb in Jeseri spoken in many Lakshadweep islands. The crabs are referred to with a pronoun of he/him, reflecting an anthropomorphic imaginary. They can be seen making holes on the seashore by carrying small bunches of sand in their clutches for their shelter. They keep waxing and waning with the tides. Hermit crabs are found abundantly in the uninhabited islands. They can sometimes eat the food you carry for a picnic! The hermit crabs often appear in the tourism promotion brochures and posters of Lakshadweep that depict them coming out of their shells. The laying of tetrapods has adversely affected the habitat of crabs in some islands. They are not consumed for food here.

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