Persian Gulf Pearl Diving Photo Book

Persian Gulf Pearl Diving Photo Book

In 1964, Bahraini photographer Abdulla Mohammad Alkhan embarked on a four-day voyage with around 30 pearl divers. It was the last official excursion by a professional pearl diving ship and exclusive images from that historic event are included in a new book that has just been released. MANDEEP SINGH reports...

RARE photographs that date back 48 years offer a unique glimpse into the life of Bahrain's pearl divers.

They are included in a new book by photographer Abdulla Mohammad Alkhan, who was lucky enough to be onboard the last official voyage of a pearl diving ship in Bahrain.

That four-day voyage consisted of around 30 men including the ship captain, divers, crew and a media team.

It was actually commissioned by Bapco, which organised the excursion with the purpose of filming a documentary for its archives.

Images from the voyage are now included in The Book of Pearls, which was compiled by Husain Al Mahroos and is a treasure trove of colour and black and white photographs from that 60-mile trip in 1964.

However, it also offers an insight into the brave men who put their lives on the line diving for oysters for rich pearl merchants, the culture surrounding the profession and the language divers used.

For instance, it describes how names were given to different types of pearls depending on their shape - such as "lovers' tears" pearls and "fish eye" pearls.

It also recounts how many divers of African origin lived in bamboo huts along the seashore.

More about Persian Gulf Pearl Diving Images Book

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