Source: Tehran Times
Tourists who travel to the Persian Gulf's Qeshm Island, can join wooden Lenj construction workshops at Peyposht, a village near Laft port of Qeshm County, Hormozgan Province.
The workshops reveal one of the most important historical aspects of Persian Gulf history in the region, the head of Iran's Cultural Heritage Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) Office in Qeshm Free Zone Abdoljavad Kamali said in a press release on Sunday.
He called Peyposht as "the cradle of Lenj construction" in Qeshm Island. "We are working on documentation of history of wooden Lenj construction in this village," he said.
There are some documents that show ancient sailors from Pakistan and Persian Gulf countries bought Lenj from Peyposht village, he added.
"We deemed that the workshops would be attractive for foreign tourists who travel to Iran," he said.
He also pointed to the architectural characteristics of local houses as one the main attractions of the area as well.
Traditional skills of building and sailing Iranian Lenj boats
The Traditional skills of building and sailing Iranian Lenj boats in the Persian Gulf were registered on UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Iranian Lenj vessels are traditionally hand-built and are used by inhabitants of the northern coast of the Persian Gulf for sea journeys, trading, fishing and pearl diving.
The traditional knowledge surrounding Lenjes includes oral literature, performing arts and festivals, in addition to the sailing and navigation techniques and terminology and weather forecasting that are closely associated with sailing, and the skills of wooden boat-building itself.
Video: Traditional skills of building and sailing Iranian Lenj boats in the Persian Gulf
The navigational knowledge used to sail Lenjes was traditionally passed on from father to son. Iranian navigators could locate the ship according to the positions of the sun, moon and stars; they used special formulae to calculate latitudes and longitudes, as well as water depth.
Each wind was given a name, which along with the color of water or the height of waves was used to help forecast the weather. Specific music and rhythms also constituted inseparable parts of sailing in the Persian Gulf, with sailors singing particular songs while working.
Nowadays, the community of practitioners is small and mainly comprises older people. Wooden Lenjes are being replaced by cheaper fibreglass substitutes, and wooden Lenj construction workshops are being transformed into repair shops for older Lenjes. The philosophy, ritualistic background, culture and traditional knowledge of sailing in the Persian Gulf are gradually fading, although some of the associated ceremonies continue to be practiced in a few places.
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