Model of a Southern Iraqi Mash-huf

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Model of a Mash-huf from the marshes of Southern Iraq. Scale 1:5.

“Mash-hufs” are in general use among the Arab tribes of the marshes of Southern Iraq, as well as on the Lower Tigris and the Lower Euphrates, for the transport of both goods and passengers. They are also used in much of the normal work of a marsh homestead.

They are built of white wood, with internal ribs and beams of mulberry, and before painting they are covered with bitumen.

In form they are flat-bottomed with upturned pointed ends, the bow being slightly higher than the stern – an arrangement which facilitates their passage through the reeds. They are propelled both by paddles and punt-poles.

The model was made by the donor, H. N. Williams.

Average dimensions are: length, 18.5ft; breadth, 4.2 ft; depth amidships, 1.5 ft.


Water Transport
Object Number:
model - representation
  • visual and verbal communication
Williams, H.N.

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