Culture & lifestyle

Overview on Population, Settlement and Culture

The population of Qeshm Island mainly is performing a rural lifestyle and is attached to the rich and multi-faceted traditions of the area. In many villages, with the village of Laft in the central North of the Island as prominent example, the characteristic features of traditional architecture, such as the beautiful “Badgir” (Traditional Ventilators), are still a natural part of the scenery and in use and operation. They do not only add significantly to the scenic beauty of the Qeshm settlements, but also are standing for the ability of ancestors of the Islanders to cope with the special environmental conditions of the region.

The island has a rich tradition of exceptional arts and handcraft, most prominent and impressing is the industrial art of boat building using traditional construction methods for the ocean-going wooden vessel called the Lenje. Craftsmen and construction sites can be visited along the northern coast of the island and the beautiful and strong ships are traded over far distances, even to the coast of Africa. Fishing and pearl cultivation provides a livelihood for a large part of the population, whilst agriculture is not of prominent importance due to the climatic conditions (arid climate). Tropical fruit trees, medical plants and date palms are cultivated in the northern and northern central parts of the island. Closely connected to human settlements and land use is the longstanding tradition of water harvesting and effective distribution of water. Historical and modern dam structures can be observed all over the island and the traditional forms of the “borka”, as typical buildings indicating springs, wells and small water reservoirs are parts of the typical setting of the cultural landscape of Qeshm. The engineering art of effective distribution of the scarce water resources still can be traced by the canal systems which are conserved and still in operation at some places on the island. The women of Qeshm Island are producing very attractive and artful handcraft such as embroideries and clothes for traditional events. The preservation and economic valuation of their outstanding skills is one of the main objectives within sustainable local development. In recent years, some co-operatives have been established (e.g. at Shibderaz village) and seem to provide a suitable framework for women’s economic activities.

Cultural and Heritage Attractions

Since Cultural Heritage attraction is considered as one of the most important criteria of sustainable tourism, creating a successful heritage attraction needs specific criteria; Qeshm Island hosts several heritage attractions which maintain the authenticity and integrity of the sites, it carries inexpensive and visitor friendly attractions, in terms of physical perspective, almost all of the attractions on the Island are in an accessible status, the visitor and conservation needs pertaining the historical and cultural heritage attractions are highly balanced.
Some examples regarding the aforesaid attractions can be referred to:

Portuguese Castle is located at the Meseni Neighborhood of Qeshm Town. The Castle which is a symbol of Anti-Colonial of the Iranian was initially constructed by the Portuguese in the 16th Century and it was used for 117 years.

Khorbas Cave which belongs to the Parthian and Sassanid Era is situated 7 kilometers far from Qeshm City at the slopes of Rocky Mountains in the South-East of the Island.

Talla Wells are situated in Laft Historical Port. In the past years, there were 365 wells, but due to heavy raining, most of the wells were filled by the mud layers. At the moment, less than 100 wells are still available.

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