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Photographer's Note

East Africa has always been a melting pot of diverse cultures, drawing influences from Africa, Europe, Arabia, India, Malaya, and even the Far East. While the best testament to this cultural syncretism is the regional lingua franca, Swahili, another good (albeit overlooked) contender is the Ungalawa. Used by fisherfolk (and now, dive operators), the ungalawa is basically a double outrigger canoe that often doubles up as a sail boat. While the double outrigger has its origins in the Pacific, its design is believed to have migrated to Africa by way of Austronesian settlers from Indonesia who travelled across the Indonesia to reach Madagascar, and then beyond. The addition of the sail, however, can be traced to Arab influence, whose dhows are still an extremely popular mode of sea travel in the region.

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Additional Photos by Prayash Giria (prayash) Silver Note Writer [C: 3 W: 1 N: 97] (272)
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