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Traditional Lenj boat building on Qeshm Island, Iran. Source: Gone For A Drive. / Adobe Stock.

The Dying Craft of Traditional Boat-Building in Iran (Video)

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For nearly 400 years, the Guranian people of Iran's Qeshm Island have upheld the extraordinary art of crafting Lenj boats - large, handmade wooden vessels used for transporting passengers and cargo. Passed down through generations, these boats are constructed solely from memory, without the need for blueprints or maps. Once a thriving industry involving almost all Guranians, this ancient tradition now faces the threat of extinction. Only a few dedicated builders remain, steadfast in their mission to protect this unique industry and preserve it for future generations.

The decline of the Lenj boat tradition can be attributed to factors like modernization and changing lifestyles. Nevertheless, these passionate artisans persist, knowing the boats symbolize more than just transportation; they embody the wisdom and skills of their ancestors. In their unwavering commitment, the remaining builders aspire to reignite interest in Lenj boat construction, inspiring young Guranians to embrace their cultural heritage and carry it forward. By safeguarding this cherished tradition, the Guranian people can honor their past, ensuring that the legacy of Lenj boats endures for centuries to come.

Top image: Traditional Lenj boat building on Qeshm Island, Iran. Source: Gone For A Drive. / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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