Dhow, the traditional sailing vessel of the Read Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean

Thursday, 1 September 2016 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Tall ships, Yacht of the Month
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Dhows Parade during Qatar National Day © flickr.com - Mohamod Fasil/cc-by-2.0

Dhows Parade during Qatar National Day © flickr.com – Mohamod Fasil/cc-by-2.0

Dhow is the generic name of a number of traditional sailing vessels with one or more masts with lateen sails used in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean region. Historians are divided as to whether the dhow was invented by Arabs or Indians. Typically sporting long thin hulls, dhows are trading vessels primarily used to carry heavy items, like fruit, fresh water or merchandise, along the coasts of Eastern Arabia (Arab states of the Persian Gulf), East Africa, Yemen and some parts of South Asia (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh). Larger dhows have crews of approximately thirty, smaller ones typically around twelve.

The exact origins of the dhow are lost to history. Most scholars believe that it originated in India between 600 B.C.E. to 600 C.E. Some claim that the sambuk, a type of dhow, may be derived from the Portuguese caravel. The Yemeni Hadhrami people, as well as Omanis, for centuries came to Beypore, in Kerala, India for their dhows. This was because of the good timber in the Kerala forests, the availability of good coir rope, and the skilled carpenters who specialized in ship building. In former times, the sheathing planks of a dhow’s hull were held together by coconut rope. Beypore dhows are known as ‘Uru‘ in Malayalam, the local language of Kerala. Settlers from Yemen, known as ‘Baramis’, are still active in making urus in Kerala.

Dhows with fishing gear © Vincent van Zeijst/cc-by-sa-3.0 Dhows in front of the West Bay skyline in Doha in Qatar © StellarD/cc-by-sa-4.0 Dhow in Sur in Oman © Ji-Elle/cc-by-sa-3.0 Beach at Nungwi in Zanzibar with fishing dhow © Moongateclimber/cc-by-3.0 Dhows Parade during Qatar National Day © flickr.com - Mohamod Fasil/cc-by-2.0 Traditional Dhow © flickr.com - StellarD/cc-by-sa-2.0 The traditionell Dhow, an enduring symbol of Oman © Pranav21391 Dhow seen off the coast of Dar es Salaam © SajjadF/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Dhows in front of the West Bay skyline in Doha in Qatar © StellarD/cc-by-sa-4.0
In the 1920s, British writers identified Al Hudaydah as the center for dhow building. Those built in Al Hudaydah were smaller in size, and used for travel along the coasts. They were constructed of acacia found in Yemen. Captain Alan Villiers (1903–82) documented the days of sailing trade in the Indian Ocean by sailing on dhows between 1938 and 1939 taking numerous photographs and publishing books on the subject of dhow navigation.

Even to the present day, dhows make commercial journeys between the Persian Gulf and East Africa using sails as their only means of propulsion. Their cargo is mostly dates and fish to East Africa and mangrove timber to the lands in the Persian Gulf. They often sail south with the monsoon in winter or early spring, and back again to Arabia in late spring or early summer. For celestial navigation, dhow sailors have traditionally used the kamal. The latter is an observation device that determines latitude by finding the angle of the Pole Star above the horizon.

Read more on Wikipedia Dhow. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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