Red Sea Natural Pearls of Saudi Arabia

History of Red Sea Pearling

History of Red Sea Pearling

RIYADH: Farasan Islands’ Hareed festival, which concluded recently, marked the start of annual pearl fishing trips, an ancient skill and a major source of the islanders’ prosperity.

Ships once carried 30 to 40 islanders in search of pearls, a lucrative source of income in previous centuries.

Sheikh of the Farasan Islands, Mohammed bin Hadi Al-Rajhi, described the stages of preparation for pearl fishing trips, which began with the shipowner inspecting and preparing his vessel, and providing sailors’ homes with supplies and foodstuffs that will suffice their families for the duration of their absence at sea.

He also prepared food for the trip, including red corn or whole wheat, and drinking water stored in clay vessels.

Once the deep dives begin, diving activities were divided over five days, with the first four days’ harvest going to the divers and the fifth day’s harvest going to the shipowner, he said.


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