The Art of Dhow-building in Kuwait

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Center for Research and Studies on Kuwait, 2001 - History - 164 pages
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Ever since Kuwait emerged in the 18th century as a young maritime state with an extreme dependence on the sea, it has been renowned for the consummate skills of its sailors and dhow-builders.
Kuwait's shipwrights became justly famed for the beauty, seaworthiness and practicality of their vessels, which were to be encountered in all the ports of the Gulf, the Arabian Sea and the western Indian Ocean. They were also bold innovators. Towards the end of the 19th century, dissatisfied with the performance of the stately traditional baghlah as a deep-sea cargo vessel, they developed the distinctive Kuwaiti boum, which rapidly became a symbol of Kuwait's maritime prowess on all the dhow routes linking Arabia, Iran, India and East Africa.
This book describes in detail how Kuwaiti shipwrights built their vessels, in particular the boum. As with dhows everywhere, this was done entirely by hand and eye, without any drawings of any kind. There are chapters on celebrated master builders and famous dhows, on sails, rigging and launching, and on tools and timber. There is also an extensive glossary of Kuwaiti nautical terms.
Today the era of Kuwait's sailing dhows is long gone. In The Art of Dhow-building in Kuwait Dr. Ya'qub Al-Hijji, himself a Kuwaiti maritime historian, provides a timely memorial of the craft industry which sustained this unique maritime nation. It is lavishly illustrated with drawings, colour photographs and remarkable old black-and-white images. The latter, from the first half of the 20th century, include many by Alan Villiers, and form an eloquent pictorial elegy on the passing of a great maritime tradition.

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Contents

Dhowbuilding Tools
29
Launching a New Dhow
94
The Economics of Dhowbuilding
142
Copyright

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Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information