What are pearl divers?

Some articles on pearl divers, pearls:

Drawing Restraint 9 - Narrative & Imagery
... In a third location a group of young women at the water's edge, pearl divers, apply grease to each other's skin in preparation for the dive ... The pearl divers enter the water with their collection barrels, hyperventilate to improve their lung capacity and make the first dive ... shown playing the shō over the scene with a string of pearls entwined in her hair and hanging down her exposed back ...

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