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A nice collection of traditonal boats from Vietnam

Chine bLog friend David Witzel was recently in Vietnam with his family and agreed to serve as a special corespondent for us, capturing pictures of traditional Vietnamese boats. Happily, he found some nice ones. We don’t have the backstory on them, but they are nice to study anyway.

Mekong River River craft from along the [...]

Unbelievably amazing traditional boat resource from Italy

Big hat-tip here to our friend Carl Cramer, publisher of Wooden Boat and author of its My Wooden Boat of the Week blog – his entry today, drawings of Indonesian outrigger canoes, was great in-and-of itself. Carl was, though, good enough to provide the source site, a resource from Italy which can be roughly (per [...]

Thinking about a ocean voyage on a bamboo raft? Read “The China Voyage”

I actually had the crazed idea to read a book recently. Doesn’t happen much – I am lucky if I can clear my magazine rack in a given month. Long on my to do list, though, had been reading some of Tim Severin’s works. Severin is an Irishman (at least he lives there) with an fascinating joint interest in history, archeology, and epic voyages, mostly maritime ones. Sound intriguing? It gets better. Severin’s shtick has been to identify an unproven or poorly understood historical journey, build a traditional boat, if a maritime one, that represents the type of that era, and then recreate the journey to see if it could have happened as theorized. Oh yeah, I am IN! I have known about him for a while and only just got around to checking him out. I began with The China Voyage: Across The Pacific By Bamboo Raft. Apparently there are a group of archeologists who believe (or believed, as of the early 1990s) that there was contact between East Asian cultures and Central American cultures within the last couple millennia. [...]

Relief – The Smithsonian Folklife Festival delivers

I called out the Smithsonian Folklife Festival recently and I am pleased to say I was wrong. There was indeed an exhibit on traditional boatbuilding along the Mekong, albeit one boat from one group of people. It was not a total loss, so bravo for not having the big miss I initially suspected.

The [...]

Big miss from the 2007 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

In case you aren’t aware, every Summer here in DC the Smithsonian runs the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. It is an often entertaining – and always obscenely hot – display of three different geographic areas and the culture thereof. The 2007 Festival kicks off soon, and I was interested to see the title of one [...]

The Degenhardt Foundation trains young boatbuilders in Vietnam

It was nice to see my recent post on traditional boats from Vietnam caused a huge stir in the wooden boat world. No sooner did my post hit the ‘net than WoodenBoat had not one but TWO pieces on boat building there. I am DEAD sure there is a connection. Really.

I am a big [...]

And more – the Vietnam Wooden Boat Foundation

WoodenBoat was also good enough to highlight the Vietnam Wooden Boat Foundation, which is:

Dedicated to preserving the maritime history of Vietnam with an emphasis on the art, craft, lore, and history of traditional Vietnamese wooden boat building.

I can buy into that. They seem to be small, but ambitious. They are collecting and [...]

Postcard from Vietnam – literally – a panorama of traditional boats

My sister recently went to Vietnam and sent us this great postcard:

This is apparently a floating market, and, while no doubt somewhat touristy, this is still a country with emerging tourist infrastructure – its probably not too far off traditional maritime life. I like that there’s quite a diversity of boats, with small [...]