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My vector drawing of an Arab Dhow.None of my images may be reproduced, copied, edited, published, or uploaded without my permission.
Even to the present day, dhows make commercial journeys between the Persian Gulf and East Africa using sails as their only means of propulsion. Their cargo is mostly dates and fish to East Africa and mangrove timber to the lands in the Persian Gulf. They often sail south with the monsoon in winter or early spring, and back again to Arabia in late spring or early summer.
Some scholars claim that the sambuk, a type of Dhow, may be derived from the Portuguese caravel.
Traditionally Yemeni Hadhrami people, as well as Omanis, came to Beypore, Kerala, India along the centuries in order to build Dhows. The reasons were the availability of good timber in the forests of Kerala, the availability of good coir rope and also the presence of skilled carpenters specialized in ship building. Formerly the sheathing planks of a dhow’s hull were held together by coconut rope instead of nails. Beypore Dhows are known as ‘Uru’ in Malayalam, the local language of Kerala. Settlers from Yemen, later known as ‘Baramis’, are still active in Uru business in Kerala.