What is a dhow?

What is a dhow?The word ‘dhow’ is used to describe any kind of Arab sailing vessel. They are the regular Arab trading craft, and make along voyages from the Red sea and Persian Gulf down to the African coast. The commonest are the small, square-sterned dhows known as ‘sambuks’. Then there are the smart ‘booms’, and the short, wide ‘bedeni’ from Muscat in the Persian Gulf. The largest are the ‘baghla’. These have carved, ornamental, square sterns copied from European ships trading with India in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, overhanging bows, and two or three short, heavy, masts carrying the tall, triangular (or lateen) sail common in the Mediterranean.

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