Madagascar, Belo, 2009.  © Eli Aviel

Indigenous Sails is a project for the preservation of the last exotic traditional ships still under sail.  These boats, which can only be found in developing countries, continue to be the source of income for hundreds of thousands of families in coastal communities, mainly in the southern hemisphere.

These craft are part of local maritime traditions that are often centuries and occasionally more than a thousand years old. Indigenous Sails believes that commercial initiatives are key to the survival outside museums of these wooden cargo and fishing sailing vessels.

Only when the owners and builders of these ships can continue to use them profitably will the future for these indigenous boats be guaranteed. Continuous use of these traditional ships also contributes to poverty reduction in communities along coasts of lesser developed countries.

Furthermore, continuous use of these ships prevents the demise of ages old maritime traditions; the sort of cultural expressions UNESCO adopted in 2003 its Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage for.