Written by Riya Joseph
Nestled on the northern coast of Kerala, encompassed in historical past and tradition stands the state’s solely museum devoted to the uru.
The uru or the dhow is a standard crusing vessel that traces its origins to India’s maritime commerce with Mesopotamia. Carved into the very id of the coastal metropolis of Kozhikode (then Calicut), the age-old craft now has its personal museum privately managed by Haji PI Ahamed Koya, a ship manufacturing firm based in 1885.
“We began this museum for our upcoming era,” mentioned Hashim PO, a fifth-generation partner-caretaker of the corporate which has constructed over 150 vessels to this point. “In Kozhikode, the historical past (of the dhow) dates again 1500 years. We preserve totally different miniature fashions of dhows – Boombs, sambouks, machchua, these are all Arabic and Persian names together with our previous paperwork in Arabic, Malayalam, in addition to gear related with dhow. The whole lot we preserve within the museum is to offer data for the approaching generations. They need to know what we had been doing.”
The museum, additionally a homage to Hashim’s grandfather and founding father of the corporate Kamakantakath Kunhammed Koya Haji, holds sentimental worth for the household. Talking about a few of the artefacts displayed within the museum, which dates again to the primary era of his household, Hashim mentioned, “For us, that is vital. They’ve tales related with our household. My grandfather’s paperwork and dhows. We’ve received invoices from over 80 years in the past and ledgers from our grandfather’s time in 1907.”
The museum, at the moment accommodated of their workplace, is due for a facelift. The revamped museum is predicted to be modelled after the unique Haji PI Ahamed Koya workplace “Pandikasala” built-in 1885. Along with crusing vessels, the museum homes varied maritime gadgets and instruments from the interval together with compass, binoculars and different navigational gear. The museum is maintained and sorted by the corporate workers.
Holding a treasure trove of knowledge on India’s once-flourishing maritime commerce, the museum attracts guests from far and close to. College students and analysis students who come to review and be taught concerning the historical past of the dhow are recurring guests on the museum.
Thought of one of many largest handicrafts on this planet, the dying uru-making business is now principally commissioned by the Qatar royal household for private use.
(Riya Joseph is an intern with indianexpress.com, based mostly in Thiruvananthapuram)