What in the world is a dhow? I bet you’ve seen one.

currently playing on my iPod: Bad Girls by M.I.A.

For my latest work-in-progress I’ve been researching dhows. Don’t know what they are? I’ll give you some hints.

They’re fast.


In the old days, they liked to hang out with pirates.

Give up?

A dhow is a lateen, fore and aft rigged sailboat. They usually sport one triangular sail that is attached to one yard, hoisted up a mast, secured at the bow, and tied with a sheet (a rope or a line) at the back. The other side of the sail isn’t attached to another yard, but is permitted freedom. Corsairs and pirates and merchants in the medieval middle east used such vessels to do their business in style. If you’ve never seen one, you’re missing out. They are seriously gorgeous.

Here is a link to a fantastic blog post on Madagascar dhows. Take a peek if you’re up for it!


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