Entries in oman (8)

Monday
Nov292010

Building the Past

When I first heard about the dhow builders I expected a small tourist area selling small models and souvenirs.  As you can see, I was wrong.  This fantastic place is a real, functioning production line of wooden beauties.  The good news is they're not cheap!  Which means if the market remains there, the quality will always be part of the final product.

Wood is imported from India.  It's cut and shaped locally and the boats are built by hand using traditional methods.  I did notice that they're using large steel bolts for the main hull instead of the old fashioned nails.  The colour and texture of the wood, as well as the beautiful results are a feast for any photographer.  Add to this the wonderful backdrop of the sea and mountains and the wonderful scent of the wood, and you have a perfect place to spend an afternoon.  I had a short visit of twenty minutes or so.  It wasn't long enough to soak it all in.

To offer a sense of scale, the image below includes men standing next to the dhow.  It's a wonderful story-line that begins with tree branches and ends with a gorgeous wooden boat (ship in some cases) into the water.  In the image above, the scaffolding visible in the background housed the largest attempt for this particular yard.  It was to be a gift to the Sultan but alas caught fire during construction.

This is another example of how much there is to see in Oman.  Every corner seems to have little treasure.

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