The Mesopotamian Marshlands of southern Iraq are the home of the Ma'dan Marsh Arabs (who have a directancestral link to the peoples of ancient Sumer). Their sheiks once travelled in this watery world in graceful,long (up to 8 to 10 meter) Tarada, which were once the war canoes of the marshes.
They carried up to 12 people andcould cover 80 kilometers in a day with ease.
The Tarada is a bitumen-coated reed canoe, with large iron-bossed nails studding in its flanks. The canoe was made famous by the British explorer Wilfred Thessiger in the 1950s, who traveled extensively within the region by Tarada.
As the wetlands have declined and shrunk in size, the Taradas disappeared from the reedbeds of the Mesopotamian marshlands. In Chibaish, on April first the Tarada will appear again for the first time in 50 years.