The Nahrein Network


Thesiger's Tarada

Team: Rashad Salim, Hannah Lewis (Safina Projects CIC), Abdulamir Hamdani Al-Dafar (Nature Iraq)

Duration: 18 June 2018 - 30 November 2019


Led by renowned Iraqi artist Rashad Salim, this project examines the relationship between recent Iraqi marshland boats like the tarada canoe made for Wilfrid Thesiger in 1952 and ancient boats of comparable form, known from the archaeological record. Current and recent information about Iraq’s marsh canoes—gathered through oral history work with today's marsh communities, as well as exploring Thesiger's archive—will be analysed together with available archaeological data on similar boats, aiming to shed new light on the development of a boat form and craft tradition that endured for millennia but is now endangered.