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Object: Model Tipaerua (model canoe)

This image has Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons BY-NC-ND Creative Commons BY-NC-ND copyright licence. Image © Te Papa

Title Model Tipaerua (model canoe)
Production Kennedy, Alex, 2002, Tahiti
Medium summary wood, synthetic fiber
Materials plant fibre, wood, synthetic fibre
Classification sailing ships, canoes, models
Dimensions Overall: 370mm (Height) x 540mm (Length) x 230mm (Width/Depth)
Credit line Commissioned 2002
Registration number FE011788

This is a model of an eighteenth century tipaerua - a doubled-hulled sailing vaka (canoe) from Tahiti in the Society Islands. Tipaerua were the vessels of kings and chiefs and could be up to 21 metres (70 feet) in length. They had names such as Tiaitoerau (Wait for the west wind) and Anuanua (Rainbow).

Construction
Tipaerua were made by specialist builders. Sails were usually woven from the long narrow leaves of pandanus - a plant similar to flax. The leaves would be dried and slit into thin strips, which were then woven together.

Tipaerua were constructed upon a narrow dugout keel. Planks were stitched together using fibre cords made from coconut husk. Tahitian vaka builders used stone adzes to shape the individual planks. The joins and lashing holes were caulked with coconut fibre and breadfruit sap.

The cordage and rope were made from the braided fibres of coconut husk or hibiscus bark fibre. Ropes were made to varying qualities and thicknesses and used as fishing lines, nets, and to lash masts and rigging.

Link
This is a model of an eighteenth century tipaerua - a doubled-hulled sailing vaka (canoe) from Tahiti in the Society Islands. Tipaerua were the vessels of kings and chiefs and could be up to 21 metres (70 feet) in length. They had names such as Tiaitoerau (Wait for the west wind) and Anuanua (Rainbow).

Construction
Tipaerua were made by specialist builders. Sails were usually woven from the long narrow leaves of pandanus - a plant similar to flax. The leaves would be dried and slit into thin strips, which were then woven together.

Tipaerua were constructed upon a narrow dugout keel. Planks were stitched together using fibre cords made from coconut husk. Tahitian vaka builders used stone adzes to shape the individual planks. The joins and lashing holes were caulked with coconut fibre and breadfruit sap.

The cordage and rope were made from the braided fibres of coconut husk or hibiscus bark fibre. Ropes were made to varying qualities and thicknesses and used as fishing lines, nets, and to lash masts and rigging.

Link
It is possible that many of the great voyages to Hawai'i and New Zealand were made in vessels similar to tipaerua. Their low prows and upturned sterns are a feature typical of many large Mäori waka (canoes) to this day

Related information

Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.