An Ndrua of Fiji, Kalia of Tonga, or 'Alia of Samoa

The painting is of a Fijian ndrua, but the ndrua, kalia, and 'alia differed only in ornamentation and the carving at the ends of the hulls. The largest and swiftest of all sailing canoes, its design was an adaptation of the double-ender concept Tongans may have observed in Micronesia.
The design spread throughout Tonga, and Samoa, reaching greatest size in Fiji where a ndrua was recorded at 118 feet. The vessel was brought about on another tack by reversing all positions, fore to aft, a skillful maneuver in which the sail and yards, suspended by the mast as it pivoted in the center, were carried from end to end. The smaller hull was always kept to windward where its weight balanced the canoe. Of such a vessel, Commander Wilkes of the U.S. Navy (1840) wrote: "It had a magnificent appearance with its immense sail of white mats; its velocity was almost inconceivable."
Collection: Hawai'i State Foundation on Culture & the Arts

    Source:Unknown | Author:Karen | There People read | Time:2011-01-24 12:46


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