I love wooden boats. Boats made of plain wood. Boats built owing to traditional know-how. Boats shaped not only by their functionality but also by a solid sense of aesthetics. Boats made with care and love. I found all those elements in a recent stay in Morondava, southwest of Madagascar.
Carved in full tree trunks, the Morondava’s pirogues are often equipped with one outrigger and a makeshift sail. They count amongst the most elegant of their kind that I have come across during my decade-long globetrotting. Fishermen venture aboard them far into the Mozambique Canal to make their living.
Local carpenters build also bigger wooden ships used to sail along the western coast of Madagascar to transport goods and people. By low tide, they rest on the sand, only to resume their activity as soon as the tide rises.
Wooden boats met in Morondava inspired me the following photographic essay, which aims at capturing their usefulness and their beauty, and behind them, the traditional life of local communities. Enjoy!