Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Heading to Basra

Image © Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford
"Balam on the River Euphrates," near Chubayish, Iraq, Wilfred Thesiger, 1954. Carrying a load of reed mats downriver to Basra, this sailing bellam runs ahead of the prevailing northwesterly shamal wind. Mature reed was cut when dry in winter, split, woven into mats, then sailed downriver to market in time for the late summer date harvest. #cmarsh