Building Lenj boats recognized as craft estate

TEHRAN – The traditional craftsmanship of Lenj boat building has been recognized as an independent handicraft estate, a local official said on Sunday.

From now on, all those engaged in Lenj boat making benefit from all the services and facilities provided to other craftsmen, said Leila Rahimi.

Iranian Lenj vessels are traditionally built by hand and are used by the people of the northern Persian Gulf coast for sea voyages, trade, fishing and pearl fishing. Traditional knowledge surrounding Lenjs includes oral literature, performing arts, and festivals, in addition to sailing and navigation techniques and terminology, weather forecasts closely associated with sailing, and boat building skills. wood itself. The navigational knowledge used to sail in Lenjes was traditionally passed down from father to son.

Experts believe that specific music and rhythms were also inseparable parts of sailing in the Persian Gulf, with sailors singing particular songs while working. Today, the community of practitioners is small and mostly includes older people. Wooden Lenjes are replaced with cheaper fiberglass substitutes, and wooden Lenj construction workshops are turned into repair shops for older Lenjes. The philosophy, ritual context, culture and traditional knowledge of navigation in the Persian Gulf is gradually fading, although some of the associated ceremonies continue to be practiced in a few places.

Lenjes were initially used for long journeys, for example to China and Africa, but now locals usually embark on shorter journeys to the Persian Gulf. Nowadays, many goods such as electronics and household appliances, textiles and foodstuffs are transported between Iranian ports, Dubai and Oman.

A Lenj is said to take around two years to build, depending on its size which reveals parts of its difficulties, care and details of craftsmanship. Also, different types of wood are required for the different components which are mainly imported from India and Africa as there are no forests in southern Iran.

ABU/AFM

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