Story: Waka ama – outrigger canoeing

Double-hulled waka, Tonga, 1790s

Double-hulled waka, Tonga, 1790s

Large double-hulled canoes were once used by the ancestors of Māori to sail from eastern Polynesia to New Zealand. Double-hulled vessels remained in use in other South Pacific countries. This example was sketched in Tonga by the French artist Copia around 1790. It has a simple wooden two-level platform built across two canoe hulls, and is equipped with a triangular sail. 

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: B-112-011
Engraving by Piron

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr, 'Waka ama – outrigger canoeing - Traditional waka ama', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 July 2024)

Story by Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr, published 5 Sep 2013