Beypore Uru

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    • Recently, the District Tourism Promotion Council, Kozhikode has applied for a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for the famous Beypore Uru (boat).

    About Beypore Uru

    • It is a wooden dhow (ship / sailing boat / sailing vessel) handcrafted by skilled artisans and carpenters in Beypore, Kerala. 
    • The Beypore Urus are a symbol of Kerala’s trade relations and friendship with the Gulf countries.
    • Wood: 
      • They are purely made of premium wood, without using any modern techniques. 
      • The wood used to build the Uru is still sawed the traditional way which requires immense expertise. 
    • Time: 
      • It takes anywhere between 1-4 years to build each Uru and the entire process is done manually
    • Artists: 
      • Many artisans involved in Uru-making are over 50-70 years old and have been in the profession since their fathers passed on the tradition to them.
    • History:
      • It has been a legendary maritime hub for traders from across the world since the 1st Century C.E. and the iconic Uru ships have been in high demand for around 2000 years. 
      • The history of Khalasis, skilled natives engaged in launching the Uru boats at Beypore, dates back to 2000 years. 
      • This traditional handicraft has been in existence for 2000 years.
      • Records show that there are several communities traditionally associated with Uru-making. 
        • The prominent people among them are Odayis
          • They manage the technical matters of ship building. Their family name comes from Odam (a type of small ship previously used in interactions/trade between the Malabar coast and Lakshadweep).
        • The Khalasis are another prominent class associated with Uru-making after the Odayis. 
          • They are also referred to as Mappila Khalasis as majority of them are Mappila Muslims. 
          • They are world-famous for their skill and expertise in launching the completed Urus into the water by using only traditional methods. 
          • They also haul the Urus in need of repairs back to the shipyard at Beypore. 

    Geographical Indication Tag

    • It is used for products which have specific geographical origin or have qualities that can be attributed specifically to the region.
    • A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.

    Source: TH