Jean-Marc Giboux

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The last Dhows
Mandvi, Gujarat, India

In medieval times, Mandvi in Gujarat Kutch district was a thriving port. Located on the gulf of Kutch, facing the sea of Oman, it was a gateway to west Asia and Africa, rich with trade at the intersection of the spice route and the camel caravan route.
As maritime trade grew, traders developed a new expertise : boat making and repairing to add to their traditional navigation skills. They became known for building their own ships, known as Dhows, that would sail their cargo throughout the region. Today, this 400 year-old tradition survives in Mandvi, in shipyards lining the Rukmavati river where a half dozen large Dhows are in diverse state of construction.