Model, of gufa

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from Baghdad

Postcard of Model, of gufa.
© National Museums Scotland

Model, of gufa

A gufa is a circular boat propelled by a pole or single paddle, rather like a coracle. This model represents a Baghdad gufa from 1930.

The round basketry hull is constructed from ribs of wood from the pomegranate tree, interwoven with rope made from date-palm leaves and a rail of tamarisk roots. The outer surface of the gufa is made watertight by a coating of bitumen.

A wide variety of traditional water vessels were used throughout the vast continent of Asia. The gufa was prevalent around the Euphrates river in Arabia.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-002-040-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1938.54
Date: Model: Between 1930 and 1938; Original: 1930
Material: Cowrie shells
Dimensions: 5.50" H x 10.00" D
What: Gufa / model
Subject: 23. SHIPPING, Native Craft (Departmental Classification)
Description: Model of a gufa from Mesopotamia decorated with cowrie shells
  • Idiens, Dale. Ethnographic Boat Models in the Royal Scottish Museum. Edinburgh: A catalogue of traditional watercraft from Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Americas. Edinburgh: Royal Scottish Museum Information Series, 1984, p 4. 
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