1. « Sandwich islands canoes » 1822, picture of L. Choris, British Library
  2. « Samoa 1851 », picture of C. Shipley
  3. « Kalanopiu bringing presents to Cook » Watercolor of J. Webber, British Museum
  4. In the background: « New Zealand war canoe » 1770, Wash painting of S. Parkinson, British Library.

Double-hulled and outrigger canoes are cultural « markers » for the Pacific islanders.
Over thousands of years, the canoe was the only mean to travel across the Pacific for the Austronesians. They sailed from near Oceania to Vanuatu, New-Caledonia, Occidental Polynesia (Fiji, Tonga, Samoa), then to Oriental Polynesia (Cook, Marquesas, Society, Hawai’i) and finally New Zealand.

Whatever their types: monodromic or amphidromic, simple triangular sail or Latin sail, wing to third or diamond-shaped, all those canoes show the commons ancestral craft which was diversified thorough time, space and specificities of each island.