Preview: Dhow Boats in Tanzania, Dubai & Kenya

September 6, 2014

Avatar Bill Mayher

The term ‘dhow’ refers to a broad range of traditional wooden boats with lateen sails found in the Middle East and western Indian Ocean1.

Here’s a look at three pretty different dhow boats.

The story and narration in this first video are a bit hard to follow, but it’s fascinating to watch this boat ‘maker’ at work on these utilitarian work boats in Bagamoyo, Tanzania.

In particular, check out the hand drill around 1:00. I believe this could be referred to as a ‘bow drill’, am I right? What a simple, functional tool.

Dhows Across Time

Next, here’s some nice footage of a more seaworthy-looking dhow sailing near Dubai.

Dubai Aerial Shots above a Dhow

That lateen rig is quite something… I wonder how it sails?

Finally, here’s an interesting snapshot of a fishing village on Lake Victoria. The local fishermen build and maintain their own dhows, but growing pressures on the lake’s biology are threatening the future of these communities.

Fair Winds/Uncertain Future: Fishing Dhows of Lake Victoria

Share what more you know about dhows and the traditional craft of this part of the world in the comments below!

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