Iran’s conventional wooden lenj boats face extinction as modern vessels take over

Hassan Rostam, a sixty two years outdated Iranian captain, has navigated the Strait of Hormuz aboard his conventional wood lenj for four many years. However, he sadly witnesses these hand-built vessels being replaced by more economical, faster boats. Lenjes have sailed Gulf waters for centuries, their distinctive type reflecting regional maritime customs just 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 more and more fewer lenjes. The island of Qeshm off Bandar Abbas can be home to an historical tradition of developing picket boats. Around Behind the scenes of those boats rested at low tide within the coastal village of Guran. The small port has historically housed a number of specialised shipyards for his or her maintenance and repair.
On a recent morning, fewer than 24 workers could be discovered at the shipyards, working barefoot in the mud. A half-constructed lenj hull has been left unfinished due to a lack of funds. Instead, its proprietor plans to dismantle it and repurpose the boards for different initiatives. Nowadays, a brand new lenj is quite costly, as the wooden is imported and the development process is totally hand-made, explained Ali Pouzan, who supervises the Guran site.
Each lenj is distinct, and their sizes range, with these shipbuilding abilities being handed down via 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 knowledge related to Persian Gulf navigation to gradually decline, the UN physique warned.
In their heyday, these lenjes have been primarily employed to transport items such as cereals, dried fish, spices, wood, and textiles across the Gulf and so far as the shores of East Africa and the Indian subcontinent. However, industrial transport has been overtaken by engine-powered fibreglass or metal boats, which share the waters with monumental oil tankers. Lenjes were also utilised for fishing and pearling, each of which have almost vanished completely.
Younes, a 42 years old Guran resident, has repaired lenjes in his house village for over 20 years. He refers to the work as “painful,” utilizing an old technique often recognized 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 rising tourism sector in Qeshm, which attracts an increasing number of guests. Several boats have been restored and adapted for sea journeys..

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