Iran’s conventional wood lenj boats face extinction as fashionable vessels take over

Hassan Rostam, a 62 years old Iranian captain, has navigated the Strait of Hormuz aboard his conventional wooden lenj for four decades. However, he sadly witnesses these hand-built vessels being changed by extra economical, faster boats. Lenjes have sailed Gulf waters for centuries, their unique kind 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 increasingly fewer lenjes. The island of Qeshm off Bandar Abbas is also home to an historic custom of developing wood boats. Around 30 of those boats rested at low tide in the coastal village of Guran. The small port has historically housed several specialised shipyards for his or her upkeep and restore.
On Up-sell , fewer than 24 workers could possibly be found at the shipyards, working barefoot in the mud. A half-constructed lenj hull has been left unfinished as a end result of an absence of funds. Instead, its proprietor plans to dismantle it and repurpose the boards for other projects. Nowadays, a new lenj is quite expensive, because the wooden is imported and the development process is completely hand-made, explained Ali Pouzan, who supervises the Guran web site.
Each lenj is distinct, and their sizes vary, with these shipbuilding expertise being passed down through generations. In 2011, UNESCO recognised the lenj as an intangible cultural heritage requiring pressing preservation. The modernisation of maritime transportation has triggered the traditions, rituals, and specialised knowledge associated with Persian Gulf navigation to steadily decline, the UN body warned.
In their heyday, these lenjes have been primarily employed to move goods 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, business shipping has been overtaken by engine-powered fibreglass or steel boats, which share the waters with monumental oil tankers. Lenjes had been additionally utilised for fishing and pearling, each of which have nearly vanished entirely.
Younes, a 42 years previous Guran resident, has repaired lenjes in his home village for over 20 years. He refers to the work as “painful,” utilizing an previous technique generally identified 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 specializing in the rising tourism sector in Qeshm, which attracts an increasing number of guests. Several boats have been restored and tailored for sea trips..

Leave a Comment