One of the most distinctive attractions in Qeshm is its local culture.
Unlike mainland Iran, most of local residents in Qeshm are Sunni, and their culture has been influenced by surrounding regions along Persian Gulf tribes, as well as remote nations through ocean trades and communications.
Also, people in Qeshm have diverse ethnic characteristics, which show long history of interregional communications and exchanges. Moreover, every village has unique tradition and culture, and they have been inherited for generations. These cultural diversities will make the visit even more attractive.
In recent years several attempts have been implemented aiming at both economic self-help of women villagers and revitalization of traditional culture.
Qeshm has been known for manufacturing of traditional cargo boats called lenge. Lenges have been used for transportation of items in the Gulf for centuries, and the manufacturers accept orders from not only domestic but also foreign owners.
The ship building yards are situated along the north coast, and some of them accept factory tours including the one in Guran.
In rural villages such as Borkeh Khalaf and Salakh, manufacturing of local handicrafts are prosperous and reflect their unique tradition. Some of them can be available in souvenir shops.
These products include shawls, headbands, bags and clothes with embroidery of marine life image, however the most characteristic products are traditional facemasks for women, which identifies the village where the wearer lives.
Each village has different design of masks, however in general Shiite villages tend to have rectangular style with red color masks, while Shiite villages have black and gold colors, and some have moustache shape. Today it is used mainly by elder women.
These handicraft industries contribute not only to succession of traditional arts but also to financial independence of females.
In several villages including Kavarzin, textile industry is thriving. In the workshops colorful fabrics are produced mainly by women worker and they are processed to clothing and handicrafts such as bags, wallets, and dolls. The production also helps improvement of livelihood especially for women.
In Nagashe Village, regular village festivals are held, mainly organized by women activists in order to stimulate women villagers’ participation in social activities. In the festivals traditional music led by women vocalists is played, along with speeches by organizers and sales of handicrafts and food made by villagers.
These festivals are simple but worth joining even for tourists to deepen understanding on local culture.