Iran’s traditional picket lenj boats face extinction as trendy vessels take over

Hassan Rostam, a sixty two years outdated Iranian captain, has navigated the Strait of Hormuz aboard his traditional picket lenj for 4 decades. However, Endorsed -built vessels being changed by extra economical, faster boats. Lenjes have sailed Gulf waters for centuries, their unique type reflecting regional maritime customs much like the dhows of the Arabian Peninsula.
Rostam, who has spent his life journeying between Iran and the United Arab Emirates, claims that there are increasingly fewer lenjes. The island of Qeshm off Bandar Abbas is also house to an historic custom of developing wood boats. Around 30 of those boats rested at low tide within the coastal village of Guran. The small port has historically housed a quantity of specialised shipyards for their maintenance and restore.
On a current morning, fewer than 24 workers could be discovered at the shipyards, working barefoot within the mud. A half-constructed lenj hull has been left unfinished because of a scarcity of funds. Instead, its proprietor plans to dismantle it and repurpose the boards for other initiatives. Nowadays, a new lenj is type of costly, as the wood is imported and the development course of is completely hand-made, defined Ali Pouzan, who supervises the Guran site.
Each lenj is distinct, and their sizes range, with these shipbuilding abilities being handed down through generations. In 2011, UNESCO recognised the lenj as an intangible cultural heritage requiring pressing preservation. The modernisation of maritime transportation has caused the traditions, rituals, and specialised information related to Persian Gulf navigation to steadily decline, the UN physique warned.
In their heyday, these lenjes were primarily employed to transport goods such as cereals, dried fish, spices, wood, and textiles throughout the Gulf and so far as the shores of East Africa and the Indian subcontinent. However, industrial delivery has been overtaken by engine-powered fibreglass or steel boats, which share the waters with huge oil tankers. Lenjes were additionally utilised for fishing and pearling, both of which have practically vanished totally.
Younes, a forty two years previous Guran resident, has repaired lenjes in his house village for over 20 years. He refers to the work as “painful,” using an old technique generally known as “kalfat koobi” to waterproof a ship with strips of cotton soaked in sesame and coconut oil. Pouzan acknowledges the decline of shipbuilding in Guran and is as a substitute focusing on the growing tourism sector in Qeshm, which attracts an increasing number of guests. Several boats have been restored and tailored for sea journeys..

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