Pearl diving in Kuwait — in pictures
The crews use ropes to reel in the divers and their catches after they free-dive using only a wooden nose clip to the oyster fields on the seabed.
Kuwaiti divers look for pearls in shells they picked. Each year, dozens of young Kuwaitis go to sea in an attempt to preserve the tradition of pearl diving.
Once the cornerstone of the Arabian Gulf’s economy, the pearl industry thrived in the 19th Century before the discovery of oil.
The pearl-diving trips are held under the patronage of the Kuwaiti emir.
To stop the skills and customs associated with this important part of Kuwait’s heritage from dying out, pearl-diving trips take place every summer.
Aboard traditional sailing dhows, the young men, many still teenagers, learn how to sail, dive, prepare the boats and sing songs as Kuwaitis did in the past.
Kuwaitis sail in traditional dhows.
Like the UAE, pearl-diving is an important part of Kuwait’s heritage. Trips are held annually under the patronage of the Kuwaiti emir to keep the tradition alive. All photos by Yasser Al Zayyat / AFP Photo
Updated: August 12, 2015 04:00 AM