The Zaima is a reed canoe from the Marshlands of southern Iraq, made of small reed bundles with an internal framework of bracing (made from flexible stems such as cane, palm frond, date bunch stalk, or small branches of local trees such as willow, acacia or gherib), and an outer coating of bitumen. Evidence of these boats’ existence in recent decades is sparse, but reports from earlier centuries suggest they were once much more common. Travellers to Mesopotamia in the 18th and 19th centuries reported that the Marshes were full of canoes made from tarred reeds and cane.
Image by Wilfred Thesiger, used under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license from the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford. Accession number: 2004.130.10601.1