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The Beden', badan, or alternate type names Beden-seyed and Beden-safar, is a fast, ancient Somali single or double-masted maritime vessel and ship, typified by its towering stern-post and powerful rudder. It is also the longest surviving sewn boat in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Its shipyards predominantly lie in the northeastern Hafun region of Somalia (notably Bayla), as well as Muscat. There are 2 types of Beden ships, with one type geared towards fishing (the Beden-seyed) and the other, trading (Beden-safar). The average trading Beden-safar ship measure more than 15 m (49 ft) in length, and are significantly larger than the fishing Beden-seyed ships, which measure 6-15m (20-49 ft) on average, but both are dwarfed by a much larger trading variant called the 'uwassiye’. This ship is the most common trading and voyaging vessel, with some measuring up to 77 ft. The ship is noticeable and unique in its strengthened and substantial gunwale, which is attached by treenail . Originally, all Beden ships were sewn with coiled coconut fibre, holding the hull planking, stem and stern-post. but Omani variants, beginning in the 20th century, began nailing instead of sewing the planks.

See also[edit]


  • Chittick, Neville (1975). An Archaeological Reconnaissance in the Horn: The British-Somali Expedition, 1975. p. 127.
  • Johnstone, Paul (1989). The Sea-Craft of Prehistory. Routledge. pp. 180–181. ISBN 0415026350.
  • Chittick, Neville (1980). Sewn boats in the western Indian Ocean, and a survival in Somalia.