Sampans (meaning "three planks" in Chinese) are small wooden boats first found in early China's waterways. They are propelled through the water with a single paddle or pole at the stern. They are often roofed with matting.

Sampans were used mostly by fishermen, who fished for among other things, squid, crabs and prawns, using a cormorant attached to a line, with a ring fitted around its neck to prevent it swallowing the fish.

Sampans are still seen in China today.

Sam"pan (?), n. Naut.

A Chinese boat from twelve to fifteen feet long, covered with a house, and sometimes used as a permanent habitation on the inland waters.

[Written also sanpan.]

 

© Webster 1913.

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