Niue’s Vaka

Isolated at the Est of Tonga archipelago, the island of Niue is surrounded by a barrial reef and didn’t have a lagoon. The hard access let only passed the small canoes.

This model represent one type of the Niue’s canoes which generally sized 7 meters length, only propulsed by the paddle. It has 3 to 4 sleeper / crosstie, so the canoe can welcomed 4 to 6 paddlers (vaka heke fa or vaka heke ono). The hull is reinforced by floating framework / ribs, fixed to the sleeper / crosstie in their highest parts. The presence of a triangle lign truncate / shorten like soatu’s canoes on the back lid / cover shows that niue’s people has maintain relationships with Samoa’s islands.

Binabina of the Solomon’s islands

The archipelago of the Solomon’s islands is one of the few area of Oceania where dugout canoe can be found. Named qao, tomoko, roko, or also binabina, their shapped can be different from an island to an other. Generally the extremity / end is turned up and thin, they are build with some planks linked to framework / ribs / members and linked between them without ligatures. The impermeability is assured by an external sealing made from a vegetal past. Propulse by a paddle, they can contain thirty peoples. Made in Florida’s islands and Santa Isabel, the binabina canoes were paint partially in black, their meticulous decoration is composed of geometric drawings or naturalism with fishes and birds.

  1. Canoe from the Sepik river – Kare Nero. 1988
  2. Small fishing canoe – Alofi’s village from Niue in 1940. Bishop Musem, Hawaii
  3. Canoe from the island of Santa Anna – Archipelago of Solomons, 1933. Bishop Museum, Hawaii.