Preserving the Maritime Cultural Heritage on Pemba Island, Tanzania – The technologies are changing
East Pemba Maritime Heritage Project Team:
Mark Horton, Royal Agricultural University
Eréndira Quintana Morales, Northern Illinois University
Shadia Taha, University of Cambridge
Abdallah Khamis Ali, Zanzibar Heritage Foundation.
Abdallah Mkumbukwa, State University of Zanzibar
Laura Basell, University of Leicester
The technologies are changing
Fishers need boats, and one of our observations was that traditional dug-out catamarans (known as ngalawa), wooden dhows (mashua) are being replaced by fibreglass boats with outboards engines. Modern fibreglass boats have the advantage of being less dependent on the winds, but of course require expensive fuel to operate and are more difficult to repair.
Fibreglass boats are increasingly replacing traditional wooden boats for fishing.
We were told that the fisheries ministry issued new boats to fishers a few years back in an attempt to increase catches, but within a short time, they had been abandoned, as the engines and the boats themselves fell apart. It was a relief to see that traditional boat building continues along much of the north east coast. For example, on the beach at Likoni, opposite to Kojani island, we observed four enormous hulls, from dug-out Mango trees in the course of construction. The people of Kojani are especially well known as traditional boat-builders.
Project Investigator Abdallah Khamis interviewing Kojani boatbuilders as they construct a dug-out from a mango tree truck.