It is with a mixture of chagrin and enthusiasm that I call attention to Indigenous Sails, a Dutch organization working to preserve indigenous sailing craft not as museum pieces, but as economically sustainable ways of life for their owners and builders. I'll quote their letter to me:
Indigenous Sails is the first project in the world focusing exclusively on exotic sailing ships as a category in itself.
While there are in the Western world hundreds of organisations that work for the survival of Western maritime traditions, there is no such thing in the developing world.
The underlying idea is that exotic wooden sailing ships can survive, and potentially thrive, when owners/builders will continue to be able to earn a living with them, possibly in new ways.
According to the organization's website, they are working initially to preserve the use of four vessel types: the Brazilian jangada, the Vietnamese junk, the Sri Lankan oruwa, and the Indonesian pinisi. Over time, they hope to add additional types to their list. The site describes where the boats may be found, their current rarity, and opportunities for actually going for a sail aboard one.
My chagrin? Only that the organization's name is so similar to that of this blog. The sincerest form of flattery? A usurper of search engine position and potential source of reader confusion? I wish them well in their mission, but wish they'd chosen a different name.