Markets in the developing world are always a hive of activity, both commercial and social. The Friday Market in Nizwa is one of the best in the country with much buying and selling going on both within the formal, covered suq and outside. These people were negotiating a deal for something or other in a parking lot.
This woman attending the livestock auction in the Nizwa Market is wearing the traditional mask, the "burqa". Although rarely worn by urbanized Omani women, it is often seen in the Interior and along more remote stretches of the coast. Made of a (usually) metalicized fabric, the mask also sports a long, narrow cardboard-filled strip delineating the bridge of the nose. Its purpose? I have no ide, though I have often asked.
These women in burqas were having an animated conversation
while their husbands -- most likely -- were attending the auction.
This old man sat stoicly on a concrete step as he tried to hawk his few limes in
the fruit and vegetable market in Seeb, a thriving coastal town not far from Seeb
International Airport, which services the Muscat area.
Oman has had a strong, flourishing fishing industry for centuries. These men have just come in with a boatful of tuna, which they are dragging to shore. If you get there early, you can buy the freshest tuna steaks imagineable. Broiled over charcoal, they're a wonderful taste treat.
These 5-foot (1.6m) beauties would make any fish lover's mouth water!
During certain times of the year, whales of various species are to be seen off the coast near
Muscat. I was lucky enough to be out with a friend in his fishing boat when we happened into a pod of some two dozen pilot whales.
These two young fishermen posed for me alongside their shasha, a traditional Omani craft made from palm fronds and tied together with palm-fiber rope. These small boats have been used by fisherman along the Batinah coast, which runs from Seeb to the UAE border, for hundreds and hundreds of years. Although they are gradually being replaced by fiberglass skiffs, if you're lucky, you'll see the odd shasha out in the water to this day.
At the 'Eid celebrations in Fanja, there is always a ritual sword dance accompanied by drumming and chanting.