canoe model

Wooden model canoe presented to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 1971.

Decked Outrigger Canoe, Waqa, Ogea Island, Lau Group, Fiji, Western Polynesia There were three main sizes and design of boat traditionally built by the Fijians, although this half-scale model of a waqa perhaps shows their classic multi-purpose sailing boat. While the smaller, open-topped takia had an outrigger (cama) to keep it upright like the waqa, it was really a riverboat with no wash-strakes to deflect the waves above its dugout hull. It was also often punted, rather than being fitted with a sail. The sail-powered waqa, however, had wash-strakes along its sides and was decked so that it could weather all but the worst seas. The vast dromu were formed from two such wash-straked and decked dugout hulls, only slightly different in their lengths, which were interconnected by a very large platform. This platform often had a deck-house on it, and might carry up to 100 people, or a cargo of livestock, timber, foodstuffs and so on. Dromu were often used for military campaigns or major trading missions across some of the world’s deepest oceans. The waqa, however, was a much swifter and more manoeuvrable vessel, ideal for everyday fishing, local visiting and pleasure-cruising. This particular example is a half-size (though fully functional) waqa that forms part of a collection of material on long loan to the Horniman Museum from the British Royal Family. This fine little boat was presented to HRH Prince Phillip the Duke of Edinburgh, in Lakeba in 1971, as a gift from the people of Lau Islands to his son HRH Prince Andrew the Duke of York. Eleven years old at the time, the prince was a keen sailor, and later joined the Royal Navy. This boat was built by the matai (master carver) Solia Tetagli from the small island of Ogea in the southernmost part of Lau in south-eastern Fiji. Wood. Mid-20th Century.

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