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"Sewn Boats: People, Technologies and Materials of the Indian Ocean"

an exhibition by Alessandro Ghidoni

Sewn watercraft were predominant in the Indian Ocean until the arrival of the Europeans in the late 15th century. The sewn-plank ships that sailed the Indian Ocean in the pre-modern Islamic period (622-1500 CE) were agents of trade, religion, and culture. They connected the Indian Ocean and the littoral Islamic world, carrying people, goods, and ideas back and forth from East Africa to China.

Event details

Boats stitched with coconut fibre ropes have survived in the region until recently, despite the European influence.  Not long ago, sewn craft of different forms and size were built in Oman, Yemen, East Africa and India as fishing, lightering and cargo vessels.

This exhibition illustrates the sewn-plank techniques and technologies that persisted in the western Indian Ocean for millennia.  It will display a selection of images, boat models, construction samples, tools and materials.

For further information please contact: Alessandro Ghidoni


Exhibition launch is on Thursday, 11 October in The Street Gallery, IAIS Building at 6.00pm.  Please join Alessandro for drinks and nibbles, all are welcome.