Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC, U.S.A.
Pirate life "appeal"
As always, I'm away from my books at work and can't be exact with the following statement, but as I remember, many Chinese pirates were fascinating in that they were "seasonal". That is to say, during the good fishing season, many (but not all) of these pirates lead perfectly ordinary and typical lives. It was during the off-season that these men (and women) turned to a life of crime, putting up their nets and donning their hudiedao.
For that matter, this isn't unheard of in other pirate traditions. The timber workers of the Compache region of Central America would cut trees during the season and in the off-season (sorry, can't recall if this is the monsoon season, winter season, or ??), they would go a-pirating in the Spanish Main. This tradition was very well-founded. On a more sinister note, the thugis of India lead normal lives, but snuck off during the night to assassinate and muder for money. Most didn't even let their families know of their secret lives, but I digress.