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The Material Culture of the Cook Islands (Aitutaki)

Chapter VII. — Canoes

page 257

Chapter VII.

In pre-European times there were two types of canoe used at Aitutaki, the single outrigger canoe and the double canoe. The double canoe has disappeared, but the single outrigger canoe still remains a necessity and an object of everyday use.

The Single Outrigger Canoe.

Timber. The best timber for making canoes throughout the Cook Group was the tamanu. The tamanu was previously very plentiful in Aitutaki, but it is becoming scarce. It is now difficult to obtain a tree with a straight length of trunk suitable for the whole hull of a canoe. Growing trees had the bark cut and slashed with the idea of allowing the tree to grow in girth. This usage still holds, as the author saw two trees that had been so treated.

The puka is also used for the hull when tamanu is not procurable. Lengths of puka, roughly shaped externally, are even now sent over to Mangaia from Rarotonga. The introduced vi or mango tree is also used for the hull. The timber used for the various parts beyond the hull will be mentioned with them.

Figure 223.The Single Outrigger Canoe.

Figure 223.
The Single Outrigger Canoe.

page 258

Parts of a canoe. The general name for a canoe is vaka. The single outrigger canoe receives qualifying names according as the hull is formed from one, two or three pieces of timber. The canoe may be divided into the hull and the outrigger. Directly connected with the hull, takere, are the top boards, oa or tango, covering boards at bow and stern poki or papahura, and the thwarts or seats, nohoanga. See Fig. 223.

The outrigger consists of the float, ama, connecting booms with the canoe, kiato, and the connecting pegs between the booms and the float, patiatia, see Fig. 224.

Figure 224.Parts of Outrigger Canoe.

Figure 224.
Parts of Outrigger Canoe.

a, aumihi vaka; b, muri vaka; c, poki or papahura; d, kiato; e, ama; f, nohoaga or papatira; g, rakau taomi ama; h, riu; i, oa or tango; j, patiatia..

The hull, takere. The inner hollowed-out part of the hull is called the riu. The term takere, besides meaning the hull generally, is also particularly applied to the outer under part of the canoe. The riu is narrow and deep in proportion to the trunk of the tree secured. The sides rise perpendicularly, or may even be slightly concave inwards towards the upper edge. In the present day canoe the hull comes to a point at the bow and the stern. In the olden days, according to Tutere of Vaipae, the stern was square in the upper part, but the lines came together to form a sharp line on and below the water line.

Canoes were divided according as to whether the hull was in one, two, or three pieces. The sections were called patonga.

(1.)One-section hull, vaka tavai.

These are small canoes in one piece. The bow is called the aumihi vaka, and the stern the muri vaka.

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(2.)Two-section hull, vaka tutaki tumu.

The hull is composed of two sections, which are joined. The terms applied to the bow and stern of the one-section canoe are also extended to the sections of the hull in the two-piece canoe. Thus the forward section, from the bow to the join, is the aumihi, and the aft section, from the join to the stern, is the muri vaka. The canoe obtains its qualifying name from tumu, trunk of a tree, and tutaki, to meet or join. Vaka tutaki tumu is the canoe with a joined hull. It must be understood that there is only one join implied in this term.

(3.)Three-section hull, vaka tamoe.

The hull consists of three sections, e toru potonga, and two joins. The bow and stern sections have the same names as in the preceding type. The middle piece is the extra section, and is called the moe. From this middle piece the canoe takes its name. Ta is a causative prefix, and vaka tamoe is the canoe made with a moe, or middle section.

The join of the hull, pōtu. The join of the hull pieces is called pōtu. It is a straight join where the two pieces are fitted together in a transverse vertical plane. There is no attempt at dovetailing. The join thus resembles the simpler of the two Maori joins known as the haumi tuporo. After fitting the edges of the cross sections together, holes, puta, are made through the sections, opposite each other. The Aitutaki people could give no information regarding a drill. They said, "Ka hakavera te pohatu, kau taunt ki te puta"— "A stone was heated and placed in the hole." The hole was cut with the smaller adzes, or chisels, and the depth continued by burning. The holes were bored straight through, at right angles to the plane of the hull section. In these canoes the hull was not very thick.

Figure 225.Temporary Lashing of Join.

Figure 225.
Temporary Lashing of Join.

page 260

When the two rows of holes were completed, the ends were placed together and temporarily lashed into position with strips of hibiscus bast. One strip was crossed between a pair of holes on either side and knotted, Fig. 225A. If the lashing had not been drawn tight enough by hand, a wedge made from the aerial rootlet of the pandanus, kaihara, was driven under the tie to tighten it up, Fig. 225B.

For the permanent lashing, three-ply sinnet braid, kaha, was used. To draw the lashing tight, a forked stick of iron wood, called a keke, was used. One temporary tie was removed. This only affected two holes on either side, and therefore did not disturb the relative position of the two parts of the hull. There were two workers, one attending to the inner side of the hull, and the other to the outer. The sinnet braid was run transversely across the join between a pair of holes, first on the outside and then back on the inside, again on the outside, and then diagonally down on the inside to the next pair of holes. Thus on the outside the lashing passes transversely twice between each pair of holes, Fig. 226A, whilst on the inside it passes once transversely between each pair of holes, and then diagonally across the join to the next pair, Fig. 226B.

Figure 226.Permanent Lashing of Join.

Figure 226.
Permanent Lashing of Join.

A-Outside. B—Inside.

To tighten up the turns the keke implement was laid fairly flat against the hull, with the two legs on the section of the hull opposite to that with the hole from which the sinnet braid issued. The sinnet braid was passed through the fork of the keke and a couple of turns taken round the handle. There is no need of a knot, as the hand held the turns on the handle and prevented slipping. The two legs were braced against the hull and a direct leverage obtained by pulling the handle directly away from the hull, Fig. 227.

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Figure 227.Use of keke implement to tighten lashing.

Figure 227.
Use of keke implement to tighten lashing.

When the lashing was sufficiently taut, the assistant drove a caulking implement into the hole to hold the lashing until the next pair of holes was dealt with. The caulking implement was a straight piece of iron wood with a blunt point. When the sinnet was passed through the next pair of holes and the end attached to the kere, the caulking implement was removed and the lashing drawn taut, as described.

The sections having been lashed together, hahau, the holes were caulked.

The two-and three-section canoes were necessitated by the length of the timber available. Where a large canoe was required and the sections of tree trunk available were not long enough, then sections had to be joined. With the scarcity of good timber at the present time, even small canoes are joined from short sections. A large number of the canoes on the beach at Aitutaki were joined. In nearly all of them, however, the join was a modern one. A long raised piece of wood is left along the transverse edge of each section at the bottom. Copper bolts are put through, and, on being screwed up securely, keep the two sections together.

Patches on the hull, ō. Even a good-looking section of tree suitable for a canoe hull sometimes has a flaw. Rather than waste the timber, the flaw part was cut out and patches neatly fitted in. They were attached with sinnet lashings passed through holes bored near the edge, as in the hull join. These patches were termed ō.

The Hold, riu. In hollowing out the hull, knots near the bottom or sides were left as protuberances. They did not do any harm on the inside. It was considered dangerous to cut them off level, lest they broke out and left depressions that might weaken the hull.

In twenty canoes examined on the beach at Arutanga, and varying in length from 13ft. 7in. to 28ft. 10in., the page 262greatest width of the hull at the top edges, inside measurement, varied from 10 to 17 inches. The greatest depth in the middle line, from the line connecting the top edges to the inner surface of the bottom, varied from 11½in. to 1ft. 7½in.

It will thus be seen how frail these canoes were, and the necessity of an outrigger to increase the width in the water to render them more stable, is apparent.

The top edges of the hull from stem to stern, or the gunwale of the hull, is termed the kauhau.

Topsides, oa or tango. Strips of plank, usually of breadfruit wood, kuru, were added along the top of the hull gunwale, kauhau, on either side, to deepen the canoe. They were lashed on with sinnet in a similar manner to the joining of the hull pieces. The planks were trimmed and fitted, so as to correspond in thickness with the gunwale edge. They were laid so that the planks met flush at the seam with the canoe gunwale. Holes were bored through near the lower edge of the planks, and holes corresponding near the canoe gunwale edge. Through these the sinnet was passed and tightened, as with the hull joins. The lashings showed both outside and inside. The canoe was thus carvel-built, as in all Polynesian canoes. The topside is now usually known as tango, but the old name is oa.

According to the Vaipae people, the old tango consisted of a hau pole, which was lashed to the outer side of the hull gunwale throughout its length on either side. In the days when timber had to be laboriously dubbed out with stone adzes, the smaller canoes within the lagoon may have been treated thus. It was simpler to cut down a hau pole as compared with preparing a plank. The pole was lashed on with sinnet, Fig. 228A.

Figure 228.Position of tango in canoe section.

Figure 228.
Position of tango in canoe section.

A—Aitutaki (old time). B—Rarotonga.

a, tango; b, oa; c, outrigger boom; d, hull.

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In Rarotonga, the tango is a hau pole lashed longitudinally over the two transverse booms. It is just a few inches out from the plank topside, which is called oa, Fig. 228B. It is independent of the topside or hull, and is used for lifting and carrying the canoe. In the present-day Aitutaki canoe with plank topsides the Rarotongan tango is not considered necessary. In Atiu, Mauke, and Mangaia the lifting pole is used, as the canoes had to be carried by its means on the shoulder out to the reef. There were no channels to float through. A similar pole, lashed further on the booms, was used on Aitutaki canoes for a different purpose.

The plank topsides were carried along the canoe gunwales to meet the sides of the bow and stern covers. In the modern Aitutaki canoes the topsides run to the ends of the canoe.

Bow and Stern Covers, poki or papahura. A covering of dubbed out plank was fitted on to cover a portion of the hull, both at the bow and the stern. The wood used was tamanu, hau, puka, or, in recent times, vi mango. In the ordinary small canoes, where the topsides were not deep, besides shaping the covers to correspond with the sides of the canoe and come to a point, they were dubbed out on the under surface to form projecting ridges round the sides for direct attachment to the gunwale of the hull.

Where the topsides extended to the ends of the canoes, the covers were flat. They were then attached by passing sinnet lashing, through holes along the outer edges of the covers and through the upper edges of the topsides. The common name for the covers is poki, but the old name was papahura.

In ancient days, according to Tutere of Vaipae, there was only one papahura, which was at the bow. This plank did not cover the hold, but was attached to the sides and
Figure 229. Projecting bow plank, papahura.

Figure 229.
Projecting bow plank, papahura.

a, bow plank; b, top side; c, hull.

page 264 projected forward for about 2 feet, Fig. 229. He maintained that it was shaped to the inner edge of the canoe gunwale, as indicated in Fig. 229. Its function was to keep the waves from splashing in over the bow.

This feature resembles that seen in the old pictures of Tahitian canoes. It is seen in some Rarotongan canoes, where the projecting flat cover is used as a platform upon which to carry a seine net. It makes it easier to pay out the net. The example shown in Fig. 230 has a lower projecting ridge dubbed out of the solid. The ridge fits round the outer side of the canoe gunwale and the lashing is passed through holes in this. On the upper surface it is seen to cover part of the hold.

Figure 230.Rarotongan canoe, with projecting bow covers for seine net.

Figure 230.
Rarotongan canoe, with projecting bow covers for seine net.

In the Rarotongan canoe, Fig. 230, the bow is raised to a point, and the stern slightly so. The bow cover rises with the canoe bow. It is also deepened at the sides to represent the top-sides. The posterior end of the sides of the cover are lashed to the topsides at their junction. There is no stern cover.

Thwarts, nohoanga. The term nohoanga means seat. The thwarts are lashed to the topsides on either side by sinnet passed through holes. They serve to brace the topsides together, as well as acting as seats. In Aitutaki, the seat also assists in supporting the mast. A hole is made through its middle to allow the mast to pass through. The nohoanga then becomes a papatira, from papa, a board, and tira, a mast.

In tacking the canoe does not go about, but the position of the mast is changed. There is, therefore, another perforated seat aft.

The fore seat has its front edge hard up against the fore cross-boom of the outrigger. Directly below the hole page 265in the seat, a raised ring of wood has been left when dubbing out the hold of the canoe. Towards the stern the second seat occupies the same relative position as the first. Its posterior edge rests against the aft cross-boom of the outrigger. It is also pierced with a hole, and there is a raised rim below it on the bottom of the hold.

In the small canoes from other islands, where sailing is not possible, there is only one seat, which is amidships. The seat is often attached on its left end by lashings to the lifting pole, or tango.

The Outrigger.

Cross Booms, kiato. The cross booms are attached to the canoe on the one side, and the outrigger float on the other. In all the canoes seen there were two. They are called kiato, and are invariably made of iron-wood, toa.

The straight iron-wood poles cross both gunwales of the canoe. The part that crosses the gunwale is wrapped round, vahi, with dry pandanus leaf, or the kaka wrapping at the base of the cocoanut leaf. Holes are bored through the gunwale in front of and behind the boom. Through the holes sinnet braid is passed backwards and forwards over the boom, to securely lash it to the gunwales.

The booms always project on the left side of the canoe. The length varies with the size of the canoe. In the twenty canoes examined in Aitutaki, the distance between the float and the hull varied from 3 feet 10 inches to 7 feet 4 inches. In sailing canoes the booms are longer. In racing canoes the booms are more slender and whippy at the float end. A stiff boom will cause the float to leave the water more suddenly during a gust of wind, and increase the chance of capsizing. A whippy boom will bend as the canoe heels over.

Instead of a straight pole, the Rarotongan booms are cut with a projecting branch on the float end.

The float, ama. The float, or ama, is generally referred to as the outrigger. It is usually made of hau, and sometimes puka. Timber of the right size may be selected, or larger timber may be dubbed down. In Aitutaki, owing to the amount of sailing in the lagoon, the floats are larger than usual, to get extra weight. As the float is always kept on the windward side, extra weight is needed to keep the float down. In the shorter canoes it is 3 to 4 feet shorter than page 266the hull. In the canoes above 20 feet it may be 6 or 7 or even 10 feet shorter. In the Aitutaki canoes, that sail both ways, the float is sharpened at both ends. In the one-way paddling canoes of other islands the posterior end is usually left unsharpened.

In the large cargo canoes of Mangaia the floats are very large, and two men seated on the cross-booms, with their feet on the float, were observed paddling.

Connecting pegs, patiatia. The connection between the booms and the float is indirect, by means of intervening pegs. Considerable variation amongst the cosmopolitan inhabitants of Rarotonga was noticed. Many people from other islands in the group attend the Mission school, and many small colonies have settled there for labour. They keep the canoe technique of their own homes. In Aitutaki, however, there was only one form of connecting peg. This was the Y-shaped peg, with the single arm driven into the float. It was noticed that in many cases the peg was driven right through the float and cut off beneath. The two upper arms of the Y were not placed in the longitudinal axis of the float, but diagonally across it.

Figure 231.The indirect float attachment of Aitutaki.

Figure 231.
The indirect float attachment of Aitutaki.

A—Y-shaped, small canoes. B-Four peg, voyaging canoes.

The peg consisted of a forked branch of iron wood. The boom, when placed between the two diverging arms, was not pushed close down into the bottom of the fork. By keeping it up a little, each arm was separately lashed to the boom. Fig. 231A. Play was thus prevented and the attachment rendered firm. There was no necessity for any fore and aft stays or lashings. Every canoe seen in Aitutaki had this form of attachment. As in sailing the heavy floats are frequently out of the water and then dashed down again, the Aitutaki attachment has been well tested. The canoe in Fig. 232 was seen in Rarotonga and diagnosed as Aitutaki from the float connection. The owner, though a page 267Mangaian, had been brought up from childhood in Aitutaki and had learned their technique.

In the large Aitutaki sea-going canoes of olden times four straight pegs were used, two from either side crossing below the boom, Fig. 231B.

The boom was lashed on with strips of hau bark. With heavy floats, the lashings round the booms were untied on landing, and the float, with the pegs, taken off. On using the canoe again, the float was often tied on in the water to get the right balance.

Figure 232.Aitutaki Canoe in Rarotonga.

Figure 232.
Aitutaki Canoe in Rarotonga.

The Rarotongan attachment is by means of the bent branch projecting downwards from the float end of the boom. This branch is directly inserted into a hole in the float. Though in form it may appear as a direct attachment, it does not function entirely as such. The downward projecting branch keeps the float at the right distance away from the boom, but it is not sufficient to attach the float to the boom. The float has to be attached to the boom by fore and aft lashings of sinnet, Fig. 233. Holes are pierced diagonally from the flat upper surface of the float towards the sides. There may be one near each side edge, a little distance behind the boom arm insertion, and a similar pair in front. From these sinnet is lashed to the straight arm page 268
Figure 233. Rarotongan float attachment.

Figure 233.
Rarotongan float attachment.

A, Cross section; B, from the side.

of the boom which projects above the float. Thus the boom is stayed fore and aft, and the float cannot fall off. There may be only one pair of lashings, instead of two. In these days fine wire is fixed to the upper surface of the float by staples, and then twisted round the boom. Thus we see that the downward projecting arm of the boom is not sufficient attachment in itself. It is different to a boom that is curved in its own length and directly tied to the float.

The author's first instruction on canoes was on the beach at Aitutaki called Te-patiatia-o-te-vaka-o-Tane. An ancestor named Tane had landed there and named the spot "The Float Attachment of the Canoe of Tane."

Longitudinal pole across booms, rakau taomi ama. Mention has been made of a longitudinal pole that is tied to the booms. Such a one is seen in Fig. 223. It will be noted that it is much further out than the Rarotongan tango, or amo as it is called in other islands of the group. It is too far away from the hull to be of service in carrying the canoe.

When sailing the outrigger is always kept on the windward side. If the canoe heels over the float comes up out of the water. It adds excitement to sail with the float up in the air and probably the canoe goes faster as there would be less resistance by friction in the water. There comes a time, however, when the float by rising too high would cause a capsize. It is then, or just before then, that the canoeist leans out on the longitudinal pole to taomi te ama, keep the float down. Hence the longitudinal pole is called the rakau taomi ama the pole for keeping down the float.

The canoe and the outrigger have been described, but there are a number of accessory objects necessary to the canoe equipment.

The paddle, Hoe. The paddle or hoe of proper pattern is scarce. The sail and the pole are so much used in the lagoon that old-time paddles are hardly made. An ordinary page 269oar with a short handle is used for steering the canoes when sailing.

The old type of paddle drawn for me is shown in Fig. 234. The handle is kakau and the blade, the rapa.

Figure 234.Aitutaki Paddle.

Figure 234.
Aitutaki Paddle.

The end of the handle is usually knobbed. The blade at the handle junction is thick and marked as in the Figure. The blade is pointed and there is a distinct angle where it turns towards the point.

The pole, toko. Every canoe in the lagoon carries a pole of hau for poling over the shallow parts. The canoe moves faster than with a paddle. In Fig. 223, the occupant of the canoe is seen holding his canoe in position with a pole or toko.

The bailer, ahu or tata. For ordinary small craft a half cocoanut shell was quite sufficient to bail out the bilge water. This was termed an ipu ahu riu. Ipu means the split cocoanut shell, and ahu to bail out. Sea water is called tai, but the sea water in the hold of a canoe is riu. Riu is also the hold of the canoe.

The old type of bailer is shaped as in Fig. 235. One of these was seen. A length of rounded wood had been
Figure 235. Old-time Aitutaki Bailer.

Figure 235.
Old-time Aitutaki Bailer.

hollowed out and one end left closed. A piece had been cut away on either side of the central strip to form a handle. The water was scooped up through the open end B. It is easy to see that if the unnecessary part B, marked by the dotted lines, was cut away and the handle strip left, the modern bailer of the Maori type would be present in its main features. This type was in use, but no specimens could be located. It was called a tata.

The bailer of the canoe of the ancestor, Te Erui, was of the old type. In an ancient pehe it is referred to by name.

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Pehe of Te Erui's Canoe Bailer.
Te tata i te vaka,
Te Erui, Matareka,
Te tahunga tuhoe.

The bailer of the canoe
Of Te Erui and Matareka,
The steersmen of skill.

The term ahu, as a bailer, is taken from the historic bailer named above. It is an old name, but the older one of tata remained in more common use.

Bailers were made of kuru or hau.

The mast, tira. The mast was usually a pole of hau. The butt end was passed through the hole in the papatira thwart and slipped in the raised ring on the bottom of the hull. As the outrigger had to be kept to windward, the sail was taken down at the end of a tack. The mast was shifted to the other thwart and sail re-hoisted. The canoe then tacked stern first instead of going about. As both ends of the canoe were pointed, the change made no difference.

The masts on the sea-going canoes of note were named. Thus, when Te Erui, on his first attempt to reach Aitutaki, was forced to return by a hurricane, urihia, he was told by the priest that it was due to the wrong naming, not only of the canoe, but of the mast. The name of the mast was Tu-te-rangi-marama. On fitting up a new vessel, the two masts were named after the gods, Rongo and Tangaroa. The naming in this instance no doubt contributed psychologically to his subsequent success. We have seen that the ropes staying them were also named.

The sail, hie or hahangi. The sail was made by plaiting pandanus strips into a mat. It was said that the old sails were rectangular, and that old sleeping mats were used on occasion. E aro ha te hie—the sail was four-sided. It was fastened to the mast by one side, and had a diagonal sprit, toko. Of triangular sails, no information was obtained.

The usual name is hie, but the almost forgotten name of hahangi was also used. When Tautoru sailed out of the Hidden Land of Taki-nuku-akau to seek his father at Hiti-kau, the people, on seeing his sail, called "Teia te page 271hira"—"There is the hira." Hira means the sail and mast together. It seems to be derived from hie, sail, and tira, mast, by taking the first syllable of the former and the second syllable of the latter.

Anchor, Tutau or hakamou. The anchor was a suitable stone as regards weight, but does not seem to have been worked in any way. Some were named. Thus the navigator, Te Muna Korero, who named the islet of Maina, came from Avaiki in the canoe Te Ua-to-ahuahu. His anchor was named Te Kinakina.

Skids, hakapapa. The lighter canoes are carried down to the water, but skids were used with some of the larger craft, such as the sea-voyaging pahi. The skids were called hakapapa. The Maori word rango is not used for skids. It is applied to pieces of wood upon which the canoe may be rested to keep it off the ground, either in the open or in a shed.

Direction terms. The float, or ama, is always lashed on the left or port side, of the canoe. In sailing the float is always kept to windward. Thus, as before mentioned, when the canoe heels over, the outrigger float rises out of the water. It is easier to prevent the canoe from capsizing by leaning out over the longitudinal pole between the booms. If the outrigger were on the leeward side the canoe would be capsized through the float being pushed under as the canoe heeled over. There is no way of preventing this, as these canoes have no balance board on the side opposite the outrigger. In tacking the canoe does not go about, but the mast is shifted so as to keep the outrigger to windward. Hence what was the true bow now functions as the stern. It is therefore useless to have fixed terms in relation to the true bow. This was met by using them in relation to the position of the outrigger. Thus, no matter which end of the canoe functioned as the bow, the outrigger side was always called ama and the side opposite the outrigger, katea. The lookout man in the bow, in avoiding the numerous rocks and shallows that studded the lagoon, called back to the steersman, "Haere ki ama," or "Haere ki katea." This meant, "Go to the outrigger side" or "Go to the side with no outrigger."

Hauling chanty, pehe. When several men were employed in hauling the large canoes a hauling chanty or pehe was used.

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The following is an example:

Solo. Chorus.
Ai ai oa. O—
Ai ai oa. O—
Oro rakau e— Oro inano e—
Oro rakau e— Oro inano e—
Aku poru te tini. Aku poru te matakitaki, Ka re koe.
Canoe Chanty.
Ai ai o—a. O—
Ai ai o—a. O—
The tree scrapes along. The male pandanus scrapes along.
The tree scrapes along. The male pandanus scrapes along.
My posture movements are myriad. Our posturing is being admired, Victory is yours.

In the chorus reply to the last line, all the haulers dance. Poru is the poetical form of paru, soft, flexible, as of the bodies when dancing.

Canoes at Aitutaki. The canoes seen at Aitutaki were all of the type described. The twenty canoes examined measured in length from 13 feet 7 inches to 28 feet 10 inches. For the local canoe races they are generally divided into four classes, according to length: up to 17 feet, over 17 feet to 18 feet, over 18 feet to 21 feet, and over 21 feet. Of the twenty canoes mentioned, eleven were in the first division, four in the second one in the third, and four in the fourth.

Double Canoes.

Double canoes, vaka tirua or unu rua, have completely disappeared from Aitutaki. Except for a couple of specimens at Atiu and Mauke they have disappeared from the Cook Group. Mr. T. E. Downes kindly procured some notes and drawings of the one at Atiu, but their use is deferred for consideration with the material culture of that important island.

In the double canoe, a smaller canoe took the place of the float of the outrigger. In detailed historical narrative the name of each canoe is usually given. The smaller canoe was known as the katea. These large sea-going double canoes were known as pahi.

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Te Erui, after his first unsuccessful attempt to reach Aitutaki from the Society Group, succeeded in the canoe Rangi-pae-uta. The katea was Rangi-pae-tai. They were connected with booms, and a platform was built over them. There were two masts, each with its own proper name. Te Erui's first canoe, which was dismasted by a hurricane, was Viripo, and the katea was Moe-te-kauri.

In the tradition concerning Te Muna-korero, who came from Havaiki, mention is made of canoe decoration. The narrative says, "E rei e pamounga te hakamanea o taua vaka" — "The rei and the pamounga were the decorations of that canoe." The rei is said to be a raised stern piece, and the pamounga, a triangular motive carved upon it. Mounga means mountain. In the geometrical coloured patterns worked on the borders of sleeping mats, the pamounga. is a triangular motive that is worked between two decorative bands, or pae. Another version states that Te Muna-korero came from Tonga, and that he brought the heke (cuttle-fish), the pahua, and the ariri. The pahua and ariri are shellfish. The shellfish were also used to decorate his canoe. They were dropped off at Maina Island, whence they grew and multiplied.

Comparisons with New Zealand.

On the subject of canoes, there is little to offer in the way of comparisons. The double canoes of both regions have disappeared. Best1 has pointed out that double canoes were plentiful in the South Island when Tasman arrived in 1642. They were also in use in Cook's time, and seemed to have survived longer in the South Island than in the North. In the Bay of Plenty a temporary form of double canoe was used until comparatively recently for drawing large seine nets.

As regards the single outrigger canoe, it speedily went into disuse. Best points out that it was only seen in two places by Cook and his companions whilst early missionaries and settlers do not mention it. The only material evidence of this type now extant in New Zealand consists of two remnants. The first is the narrow hull dug up in the Taieri, and now in the Dominion Museum. Best points out that the sides curve in to the upper edges, and thus resemble some Melanesian canoes. The second specimen is the outrigger float in the Canterbury Museum. This has page 274been described by H. D. Skinner.2 It is about 6 feet in length, so that the canoe to which it had been attached could not have been very large. It is also pointed at each end, which was the common practice in Aitutaki. It is interesting to note that the float must have carried three sets of holes for the boom attachments. The outrigger must therefore have had three booms, or kiato. All the small canoes of Rarotonga and Aitutaki seen by the author invariably had two booms, but in Niue3 three booms were used, as well as two. Between the pairs of holes for the connecting pegs, Skinner states that two holes were sunk that converged and met. He rightly conjectures that through each of these holes a cord must have been passed to connect the float with the boom. This form of lashing attachment has been mentioned in this chapter in describing the Rarotongan float attachment. In the Rarotongan attachment there is one peg attachment formed by the natural branch from the boom being inserted into the float in the mesial position, whilst there are two or two pairs of cord attachments which pass fore and aft from the end of the boom to holes that have been pierced through the upper surface of the float, Fig. 233. In the New Zealand float the positions are reversed, for there is a fore and aft peg attachment and a mesial cord attachment.

The Y-shaped stick attachment that is characteristic of Aitutaki has been recorded by Haddon4 in various parts of the Western Pacific. The Balinese attachment, described by both Haddon and Hornell as being a bent branch attached to the boom above and inserted into the float below, differs considerably from the Rarotongan attachment, except in first appearance. In the latter, though the branch bends down to be inserted into the float the boom itself continues out over the float. It is to this prolongation of the boom that the two cord attachments that come from the float are attached.

The vessels that brought the ancestors of the Maori to New Zealand must have been double canoes. There are traditions, however, that single-outrigger canoes were used on a particular expedition. The double canoe was the voyaging canoe of Polynesia, and the ancestors of the Maori were Polynesians, whatever they developed into afterwards. It is natural that they should have retained for some time the types of canoe of their home-land. It is also natural page 275that they should have discarded them in time. Big timber was everywhere plentiful, and, with the great improvement in woodcraft, large logs were dubbed out into canoes. They were more stable in the water than the narrow logs of Polynesia. Hence it became unnecessary to prop them up with an outrigger. The long sea voyages were also abandoned. There was no longer any need for them. Thus changed conditions as regards available material and the needs for which canoes were required led to the abandon-ment of the outrigger canoe and later of the double canoe. It is surprising that the double canoe lasted as long as it did.

It is refreshing to find that so many of the Polynesian names were retained. Thus we have takere and riu, with the same meanings of hull and hold. Oa for the topsides was also known to the Maori, though rauawa was much used. The use of the numeral rua, two, with some prefix to denote a double-canoe in both regions is also natural. The word pahi for a large sea-going canoe was retained in New Zealand. Pahi is also used for travellers or visitors, and in this application it is easy to see that it harks back to an island habitat, where the ocean-going pahi was the only transport that took travellers or brought visitors. The ama for float was also remembered, and Best has remarked that in the ama-tiatia we have the memory of the association of the ama with the tiatia, or the indirect peg attachment of the outrigger float to the boom.

The butt join of the hull was common to both but the tenon and mortise join, or haumi kokomo, seems a local development with the Maori. The carvel-built canoe is common to both, but no inside and outside battens to cover the join were used with the small canoes seen. The method of running the cord through the holes of the hull and the topsides, twice vertically on the outside and once vertically on the inside, and then diagonally to the next pair of holes, is common in both areas. The use of the forked implement to tighten the lashing as it is being applied is also common. The manner of use given by Best1 is different to that shown in Fig. 227. The method shown there is common in Polynesia, and is in active use.

After the Maori made the great local development in carving, it is natural that artists looked for suitable objects upon which they could display their art. The figure-heads page 276and stern-pieces of war canoes supplied an appropriate field. It is easy to see how the double spiral motive was added in later times to the less elaborate treatment that formerly prevailed, and which is now seen on the second class canoes. The carved head with a protruding tongue was left connected by a mesial vertical board cut out of the solid with the transverse cross piece at the back, to provide a field upon which the double spiral could be displayed. Similarly, the stern-piece was widened and made higher, to provide a worthy setting for the same motive. The curved ribs so typical of these carved stern-pieces not only impart strength to the pierced work of the plank, but represent the original smaller and less ornamented stern-piece.

1 Best, Elsdon, 1925, I.

2 Skinner, H. D., 1924, I.

3 Te Rangi Hiroa, 1911, I.

4 Haddon, A. C., 1920, I.