The Dhow

For more than two thousand years, lateen rigged dhows have been sailing the Indian Ocean, linking economies and people, and creating a cosmopolitan maritime Indian Ocean culture. While trade was the primary rationale, a great variety of people used dhows to cross the oceans: sailors, merchants and settlers. In former days, dhows transported slaves, religious refugees and conquerors.
For centuries, Arab shipwrights crafted boats using sewn construction – sewing the planks together with coconut fibre cord – but this craft has more or less died out, being superseded by nailed construction.