All aboard the Beden, a swift and unique vessel that sailed the ancient Somali seas!
All aboard the Beden, a swift and unique vessel that sailed the ancient Somali seas! This towering ship, crafted with a stern-post and robust rudder, played a key role in connecting Somali merchants with far-off lands. It is also the longest surviving sewn boat in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
With two distinct types, the smaller Beden-seyed for fishing and the grand Beden-safar for trading adventures, these ships were known for their speed and design. And who needs nails when you've got nuts?
You read that right: traditionally, Beden ships were sewn with coiled coconut fibre, holding the hull planking, stem and stern-post. Later, some Omani variants began nailing the planks in the 20th century, but the original technique is a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of ancient Somali shipbuilders.