The technique of assembly by lashings is one of the world’s oldest for constructing boats. It was in use in Antiquity in Egypt and in Homeric Greece. In the present day, this method is still used in the Indian Ocean, most notably in India itself, at Kerala, where, nevertheless, the technique is unfortunately dying out.
This film takes us to Kerala on the Malabar Coast, and into a network of lakes and lagoons and canals known as The Backwaters, where the last of these “sewn” boats are still employed. We shall follow the work of traditional carpenters who continue to practise this ancient technique and begin to understand its subtleties.