Taimaui Society: Polynesian sailing canoes.

Courtesy of Herb Kawainui Kane, a fine example of what this page is about.(above)
A Samoan amatasi. I have built a similiar canoe, and plan to build another like this one. Older ones had two amas, (amalua) later in history one ama with a balance board on the starboard side as shown was the more popular method. They sail very well.(above)
Courtesy of Herb Kawainui Kane, a fine example of what this page is about, possible future project, a Tahitian tipairua.(above)

Taimaui Sailing Canoe Society...

Taimaui Society was intended as a sister organisation to the Polynesian Voyaging Society. At this time, however, the project was abandoned due various issues...also, half of the site was lost in February, 2006, due to a malfunction brought on by spammers, just as the site was beginning to take shape...you will notice that many of the photos are now missing, and I cannot seem to be able to replace them, so bear with us...
Correspondance: Any individuals or organisations and entities who may be interested in assisting me with this website and the projects now may correspond to me at this mailing address: R. Stewart 39530 State Route 39, Wellsville, Ohio, 43968...or contact me in my Myspace websites linked.
The idea was born and attempted both in Samoa and Ohio in the late '80s and early and mid 1990s.
Still in its formative state, this work is an ongoing project, and the information we provide here is based upon my first-hand observances, while living in Samoa, and my travels, adventures, and my continuing studies as well as conversations with friends, colleagues, and other third-party individuals from various parts of Polynesia on this matter, as well as my experiments in building and sailing indigenous Polynesian canoes and other projects. Forgive, if you will, my overenthusiasm on this subject, as I identify strongly with Polynesian culture of the finer points and the better part of island life. This site is intended to be created in a way, however, forgoing being overly simplistic, biased or romantasizing, in which the average person can grasp, and to assist in spreading interest in this subject. Forgive also, any typos and errors incurred in the creation of this work, as I do it in limited available time with resources that at many times seem wanting, as we are not yet fully established at this point in time.
We were planning to build several more Polynesian sailing canoes in the future. There is a need for this, as true Polynesian culture in this aspect has for a large portion, degenerated, most of which occured during the early 19th and 20th centuries as a result of foriegn contact, heavy-handed meddling of overzealous outsiders and beaurocrats among many other problems caused by early outsider's carelessness in their visits, but in recent decades a cultural renaissance of sorts has occured, and I noticed that when and where good canoes are built and sailed, it is a great boon to the morale of the islanders, and cultural awareness benefits greatly, so with this website, and my past experiments, and current and future projects, we are doing our part to assist this movement as well. However, the assistance I needed from some key individuals of power did not materialise and the project is indefinitely abandoned, due to lack of support. SORRY!!! .
My interest began years ago with a series of experiments, beginning some time ago with a Tuamotuan and a Micronesian type outrigger which used the shunting method (sail is moved end-for-end when tacking) to change tacks in which each end of the canoe is identical and the ama is always on the windward side. This proved very effective, and has the highest speed potential, but needs wind that is from a steady direction to work well, and is not the best thing for narrow bays, lagoons and lakes or areas with fickle, changing winds.
The next experiment was several tacking canoes, (Outrigger is usually on the left, but one of the first of mine was built with the ama to starboard, or, in a less common configuration that was also used in Polynesia, and parts of Melanesia and Micronesia, -but rare there- the double outrigger with two amas-like a trimaran- rare in Polynesia at the time of European conquest, but more common in the days of old, -accounts of double outriggers in Marquesas, Samoa, Societies, and other groups existed- and still found now in Indonesia and the Philippines-good for smaller vessels, and larger ones if correctly designed...)Tacking is done in a more conventional manner which arrangement also works better for confined areas and shifty wind environments, but sacrifices some light-wind speed for more ease of sailing and safety. A large one of the double outrigger type was built in Samoa in '91 after consulting some older Samoans who knew about this rarer design, but was vandalised in early 1992 beyond repair, and unfortunately no photos have survived, and a smaller one as a replacement was built in early 2004, rigged with two masts and sails (shown with only the main sail installed for trial runs) is photographed in this page below. (Photo 23, 37) A large single outrigger built as an experiment in 1990 in Samoa, although roughly built, is also photographed below. (26, 27)
Also, was a few catamaran experiments. One of these, another experimental craft, quite small, but very effective, is photographed below (39) as well that has been built in '91 in Samoa, it being a miniaturised va'atele or tongiaki type. As the experimental phases have been concluded, we plan on moving to larger projects. Some will be shunting rigged canoes, such as the Micronesian Walap, others will be tacking outriggers, such as the Tahitian Va'a Motu as well as some larger double-outriggers, and a few catamarans, such as the Marquesan Va'a Ho'ua, and the Samoan Alia, and several Tahitian types will be built as well.
A sailing raft has been built some time ago, as an experiment on the Mangarevan type. A model of it is photographed below. (24) The full-sized experiment worked well, and has proven that with proper use of dagger-boards inserted between logs, these can sail to windward very well. It was unfortunately destroyed by vandals, and I had not photographed it, so none exist that I know of.
See the interactive part of this site for more interesting photos.
For more, there is a bibliography of works studied, should you wish to explore for yourself, this topic further (indicated by the symbol + in footnotes below, as well as a good link and some more information of interest accessable at the bottom of the page if you were to use your scroll button.)
1) This Tahitian Pahi, from artwork by Herb Kawainui Kane, is one of our future projects planned. (above) Shown in the double-canoe format, they were also built as single and double outriggers in days of old. Shown with the endemic half-claw rig, and sometimes was rigged with the more conventional crab-claw sail.
2) Canoes on beach in Samoa. (above) While somewhat neglected-looking, these are quite well-built and are better specimens than most of the unfortunate degenerate canoes (usually slapped together of poor materials -even horrible scrap roofing tin-and nailed instead of properly lashed.) that I have seen on Tutuila, these are on Ofu. These are va'aalo and paopao types, the paopao being the smallest Samoan design. .
They sail very well, even the smallest of them are capable of sailing, but I have not seen many nowadays rigged with a sail, which is a shame, as the Samoan type sailing canoes are renowned for their seaworthyness and speed, and the Samoans were known to be great sailors, but this, as well as finer quality canoe building, seems to have degenerated sadly in most of the Pacific in recent times, although occasionally better-quality specimens, such as these examples, are built. Polynesians would make regular round-trip voyages on traderoutes that spanned as far as the American continent in the east to Micronesia and Melanesia in the west up to shortly before the coming of the Europeans.
3) Cook Islands (Aitutaki?) catamaran (above) This is one that I know participated in the Pacific Arts festival in Rarotonga in 1992. I do not know if any other such events were held since then. I was supposed to have built a large Samoan canoe with some colleagues for this event also, but lack of cooporation and problems with that year's cyclones prevented us from joining the others involved and our canoe was never built, causing me to miss this event.
4) Cook Islands (Atiu) catamaran (above) This is another one that I know participated in the Pacific Arts festival in Rarotonga in 1992. Well built.
5) View of Polynesian canoe in action. (Hawai'iloa, a large catamaran built of traditional materials.) (above)
7) This is a view of several sailing to Rarotonga.
8) View of Polynesian canoe (Hokule'a)in action.(Courtesy of Polynesian Voyaging Society-see links) (above)
9) Construction details. (above)
10) View of Polynesian canoe in action. (above)
11) View of Polynesian canoe in action. (Aramoana) (see links for the site for this fine catamaran.) (above)
12) View of Polynesian canoe in action. A fine sailing machine. (Temehani, above) This one uses the Tahitian half-claw rig rather than the full crab-claw. The advantages are, being able to spill excessive wind without excessive flogging of the sail, to give good speed control for fishing, and good windward performance without much heeling force, but at the expense of stowabiliy and being able to take the sail down on-the-fly, so this is meant for fair-weather sailing, which is why the conventional crab-claw rig is usually preferred. (see links for this one's site..sorry, most of the links are gone too, as of February, 2006.)
13) Tahitian va'amotu by Herb Kawainui Kane. Possible future project. These are renowned to be very fast sailing vessels. In days of old, they were also built as double outriggers, a notable one named "Takitumu" was used in voyages to Aotearoa and back, half a millenia ago, this one shown as a single outrigger with balance board, which was the more common format at the time of European conquest.(above)
14) Tuamotu pahi. Uses shunting method instead of tacking in a conventional manner to keep ama (smaller hull) to windward.(Each end changes direction for tacking. A very good arrangement that keeps the ship's cabin and ballast to windward. A very strong design, and a possible future project.). (above) Tuamotuans used these in trade with Tahiti. Often Tuamotuan craftsmen would be employed by Tahitians for building pahi.
15) Tongan catamaran. Courtesy of Herb Kawainui Kane (above) This design is known in Tonga as a Tongiaki and Samoans have also built these (called Va'a Tele) as well. It was the vessel of choice of a prominent Samoan chief who used it on many voyages to Tahiti in the old days. I built a small two-man version of this type. It performed very well, and was easy to sail. Vortexes from the sail create alot of lift and power and this one sails very effectively to windward, when properly rigged as it was in it's later versions...earlier versions did not sail upwind well. A larger one may be a future project as well. Some of them used a bipod mast configuration (not shown here) which would allow easier tacking. This one has single mast, and would require the sail to be reset to tack. I would prefer to use a bipod mast with the sail hung between the apex of the masts, on a halyard as was occasionally done later, but not usually shown on these types. Usually there was a single mast, and usually no halyard was used to hoist the sail, as it rested on a fork in the top of the mast, and that was a clumsy, dangerous method, which caused probems for some sailors.
16) Tongan/Samoan catamaran (Known in Samoa as 'Alia, which Fijians would also use. Fijians call this desgn a Ndrua. Tongans refer to it as a Kalia.) construction details. Also shown is the outrigger version known in Fiji as a Thamakau. (above) Tacking is accomplished by shifting the sail to the other end, keeping the smaller hull or ama to windward, (a method invented in Melanesia, adopted by the Polynesians) unlike the Tongiaki version which tacks in the conventional manner. Some of these were built to immense proportions. I know of one old one that was preserved in a museum in Western Samoa, but they should have made more efforts to preserve more of them and keep them sailing as well.
17) Hokule'a happily sailing over swell (above).
18) View of Micronesian canoe in action. (above) These are some of the fastest in the Pacific.
19) Micronesian canoe that sailed to Rarotonga. Out of all the canoes at the Pacific Arts Festival, this one is the fastest one, light and sturdy, and very streamlined.
20) View of Micronesian canoe in action. (above) These make impressive voyages. Navigator Mau Piailug and his friends use these to sail hundreds of miles.
21) View of Tahitian canoes in action. (above) The va'amotu is used with several kinds of sail rig. Crab-claw, (the most widely used sail) the Tahitian half-claw, as shown in the other pictures, (I have only seen that rig on Society Islands canoes) and sprit rig as shown here as these canoes pictured above go sailing to visit a schooner, and I have seen them with a gaff rig like the copra schooner's in the background.
22) View of Melanesian canoe in action. (above) Melanesians make high-quality canoes that were sought after by the Samoans and Tongans who would purchase them in trade. Nicely made!

23) Small outrigger (below) that I built in early 2004. This sailing machine has been made to provide the option of using one ama, or two amas, as shown, a va'a amarua. Most indigenous Polynesian outriggers were fitted with only one ama, at the time Europeans came upon the islands, but in old times they were sometimes built with two, as I consulted some old experienced Samoans on this issue long ago. The double outrigger was rarer than the single outrigger, but was found in the Hivas, (Marquesas) the Societies, (some were used to sail as far as Aotearoa, -NZ-which is another locality where they existed) Rapa Nui (small, poorly built ones) and Kamehameha I experimented with a fleet of very large ones in Hawaii...just to name a few locations.
European accounts of double outriggers, however, are sketchy at best. They were probably supplanted largely in modern times by single outrigger canoes due to simplicity of the others, saving trouble in building, and in using two amas, they require more precise adjustment to function properly. Kamehameha discovered this when he built his large fleet, and the amas were adjusted too low, causing the canoe to be difficult to manage. If adjusted properly, by my experience, two amas sometimes work better than one with certain boats. They need to be adjusted so they barely touch the water, and the leeward ama bears the load from the sails, and the windward ama's weight assists, and to not be both fully in the water simultaneously when loaded and sailing. This can be difficult to build properly and could be why the single outrigger was more popular. .
The starboard ama on this one is detachable, owing to my necessity of land transport, but usually use it with two, as it seems to function better with both. Crossbeams going to the starboard ama were designed to easily be dismantled for either type of configuration, and ease of transportation to reduce beam, which allows the vessel to slip through a tighter area, and makes storage easier, which is another advantage of using only one ama, at the sacrifice of additional stability, unless the ama is large and has enough weight, about half the density of the water, to perform best on both tacks.
My amas on this boat are much lighter than the water, owing to its better performance under two amas. This canoe can do around twelve knots downwind or or with the wind abeam in good conditions and has topped off well over twenty knots while surfing downwind in a blow, which was about my limit of being able to control the boat safely. That is the limit I would attempt to sail her, and on sheltered waters only in that sort of wind. She prefers lots of wind. Sails best in winds around twenty knots and serves my purpose well for where I sail. A mizzen mast and sail has been added. Strongly built, light, and unsinkable.

Photos of past experiments, models, and boats, as well as beautiful scenery in Samoa.

Several outriggers have been built, and also a paepae (sailing raft) has been built, the full-size raft, which performed quite well, has been destroyed long ago by vandals, but a fully functional scale model survives, pictured here... Some of the other va'a were made from traditional materials, and others were of modern materials, or a combination, but were true to ancient design, the ones built in Samoa have either been given away or destroyed, but there has been a new one built in February/March of 2004. Other experiments pertaining to the use of the adaptable and reliable Polynesian crab-claw rig have involved powering canoes, a skiff, a catamaran, (a miniature version of a Samoan "Va'atele" which went very well) four trimarans/double outriggers, (one was in Samoa, but was destroyed by vandals, the other was sold to a family in Virginia in 2002, two smaller ones were sold to someone in Ohio.) a sled on a frozen lake (speeds of over forty miles an hour!) an inflatable dinghy (now in use) and even a skateboard, which went very well.

24) Paepae scale model. (below)

Centreboards, shown retracted, due to the model's placement on a hard surface, slide down between logs, centre of balance -vs- relative amount of centreboard fore and aft controlls direction of the va'a. Really sails, as did the full-size version. This is an ancient craft predating the canoe in Polynesia, and was exclusively used in Mangareva. Shown here with two small crab-claw sails, usually had one large one, and occasionally used square sails, the full-size experimental version was sailed with various rigs, and successful with each attempt. The square sails out-performed the crab-claw down wind, and the crab-claw rigs were superior upwind, and all performed equally well on a reach, and all could sail upwind or downwind satisfactorily.

25) Model va'a

I built full-size version in Samoa. Artifacts in front. Foot-long ruler to display scale of size. Model is built an inch to a foot.

26, 27) Roughly built outrigger. (below)

One of the va'a that I kept at PPYC in Samoa. This one was a rather quickly and roughly built experiment, and sailed well in spite of the heavy and rough construction. It could carry a surprisingly large load of passengers and I would often take friends and tourists on a fun sail with this one. It became a bit of a tourist attraction on Utulei Beach. It was blown to the other side of the island during a cyclone, and was found intact and undamaged, owing to the thickness of the structure. I decided to let the people who found her keep her, as I was leaving Samoa shortly and I heard that she is still sailing today.

28) Pago Pago Yacht Club.

Wow! Oh boy! the yacht club that cares.

29) View while approching Tutuila/Pago Harbour.

Heading back to PPYC after a sail to Aunu'u on an outrigger.

30) Happy palagi friends

Jim Retew and Bob Cruickshank from Lancaster, PA enjoying a sail on the PPYC va'a.

Photos 31, 32, 33, 34) Yacht that is being refitted, a 24' (length on deck), but was licensed under the Ohio Division of Watercraft as 21' by original owner, who sailed her in the Caribbean. She was built in the late '80s from plans, and sailed in the early to late '90s by her first owner. I am not sure where he or the Division of Watercraft inspector has taken the measurement to obtain that dimension, perhaps the rules were different then, maybe from the inside of the cockpit to the forward hatch??. Dimensions I get are 31" (overall, measured from bowsprit to rudder or overhang) length and 8'3" hull width. She is a gaff-rigged wooden trimaran. With the amas attached she would be around fourteen to sixteen feet in beam..not sure, never had the amas on her yet. Trimaran design is based in part on Oceanic types of watercraft. She can be sailed without amas, as a self-righting monohull, by adding ballast, and simple balance rails where the amas attach for the crew to hike out on. I found the options of having a yacht that could be used either way quite interesting, and was one of the reasons I bought her to restore and sail in 2002. Photos are outdated, however.

YACHT WAS SOLD (half-finished due to financial hard times) TO A MAN IN WEST VIRGINIA.

35) Veiw of unfinished self-draining cockpit

This photo is not up to date as the cockpit has been finished since this was put up...and the rudder and steering is hooked back up now. Comfortable, dry, and safe.

36) One ama topside

Needs crossbeams and deck planks yet... Will be simple and easy for the buyer to finish. Plans walk you through it.

37) Newly built outrigger. (below)

This is of the double-outrigger type. Shown here with only the mainsail installed, it is a two-masted rig. This is the last experimental va'a, which was made in early 2004. Both sails are crab-claw types, similiar to some seen in the Societies, (Though rarer there, as the half-claw type was more common around Tahiti.) Marquesas, and Hawaii, and use bamboo spars, and the method of lashing the sail to the spars is in the Tahitian and Hawaiian methods, with the spiral lace passed around the spar tied to the bolt-rope edge of the sail. The amas are fastened with the peg arrangement and lashing technique common in Samoa, Tahiti, and many other parts of Central Polynesia. The hull shape, with its high manu at each end, and beamy shape with pronounced rocker towards each end, and sheer below the washstrakes, is similiar to the Tahitian outrigger pahi, an uncommon indigenous design of that area. It is rounded "V" in cross-section.

38) Got a problem? Talk to the Head Beagle.

Lady, the Polynesian Navigator Beagle! The mizzen mast, installed in March, 2005, not shown, in this outdated photo, is now stepped behind the cockpit..more photos are also on the interactive page.

39) Miniature version of Samoan Alia/Tongan Tongiaki.

40) Aunu'u.

41, 42, 43) Blue Lagoon.

44) Fatu ma Futi.

45, 46) Le'ala

47, 48)) Leone Bay.

49) Aluminum fishing alia in Leone Bay.

50) Mt. Pioa.

51) Sliding Rock.

52) View out from Sliding Rock.

53) Blowhole and tidal pool out past Sliding Rock.

54) Bizzarre twilight zone.

Being revised, bear with us.
As the great author Kipeni Su'apa'ia said, and this goes for all islands of Polynesia, and not just Samoa, he stated something along the lines of: "Samoa must build for the future with wisdom from the past" and if this advise were heeded, and people would choose the best of the indigenous life, and only the best of what foriegners introduce, and do this carefully, the problems in the islands caused by slothful management of foriegn influence may be greatly relieved and damage reversed. .
+Bibliography: (in no particular order) .
Ancient Hawaii: Herb Kawainui Kane. Sacremento library.
B. P. Bishop Museum Memoirs: Vol. 8, 1921-23. Bernice Puahi Bishop Museum publications. Ohio State University.
Canoes of Oceania: A.C. Haddon and James Hornell. B.P. Bishop Museum, 1936. Case Western Reserve University, Kelvin Smith Library, Cleveland, Ohio..
Early Tahiti -As the explorers saw it, 1767-1797: Edwin N. Ferdon (University of Arizona).
Fatu Hiva, Back to Nature: Thor Heyerdahl (from my own collection).
Handcrafts of the Society Islands: Willowdean Chatterson Handy, Bernice P. Bishop Museum bulletin 42, 1927 (KSU).
Material Culture of the Tuamotu Archepelago. Kenneth P. Emory, KSU library
Myths & Traditions of the South Sea Islands, 1873-1936: Donald Alexander Mackenzie (KSU).
Polynesian Seafaring. (KSU)
Polynesian Seafaring and Navigation: Ocean travel in Anutan culture and society. Richard Feinberg, Kent State University Press, 1988. London and Kent, Ohio. KSU library.
Samoa, The Polynesian Paradise: Kipeni Su'apa'ia (from my own collection).
Seafaring inthe Contemporary Pacific Islands, Studies in Continuity and Change. Richard Feinberg, Northern Illinois University.
Solo o le Va: Peniamina Fiatoa, a manuscript. (from my own collection: see link below.)
Tahitians -Mind and Experience in the Society Islands: Robert I. Levy (University of Chicago).
Voyage of Rediscovery, a Cultural Odyssey through Polynesia, Ben Finney, University of California.
As this list is yet incomplete there is much more coming soon .

Solo Ole Va

See this site for further info on the migration theories of the Polynesians, although as of lately this man seems to have changed his point of view, it now is biased toward the mindset of the truth being a "myth". Also read the following excerpts from some email correspondance circa Monday, November 8, 2004, with another former acquaintance on this topic, which is very much related to this website as well as the one you are viewing now, with my comments added, in parenthesis...this was added to the site on April 7, 2006:
The email states:"....Most people do not know about the navigation talents of my people, and think that we drifted around until we decided to stay in one place, but the truth is actually found in our genealogy, that stays within the royal house."... (Administrator comment: I believe that the Mormon church, as well as all anthropological students on Polynesia, as well as all the museums and historical societies on this subject, needs someone from the Royal Family to come forth with some of this information..as it will finally put the scientific debate to rest on this subject.)
"... My great grandfather, Opapo, knew what our genealogy was, because he was to be king. When he found the Mormon missionaries on the beach, he began to teach them the Samoan language, and they taught him English from the Book of Mormon. When the BoM got to the end of Alma right before 3rd. Nephi, and began to talk about Hagoth and the building of ships, my grandfather stopped the missionaries." (administrator's note...the beginning of the building of Hagoth's 'ships' occured around 55 BC, and probably continued for years since. I am not certain what Hagoth's name was in the Polynesian language, however, but this illustrates the knowledge that the Polynesians retained of this key person mentioned in the records that make up a part of the Book of Mormon. I believe this Paul Cox individual knows the Samoan name.)
"He asked them how this information got into a white mans book, because only the royal family knew about father Hagoth and where we were from. He knew about all the wars and the reason our people were fleeing the area south, and going north by sea. My grandfather used to have a stone that he carried with him, I don't know where it is now, I've only seen it once." (admin note: This indicates that there are some more ancient records comparable to the ones used to compile the Book of Mormon from various parts of Polynesia that are soon to come forth in due time. Jesus visited the ancient Americas after His Resurrection around 34 AD, and afterwards went on to visit other peoples of the world...including those in the Islands at the time, to establish His Church among all the world's "other sheep"....and these records will come forth for the world. )
"It is somewhat large, with lines that come off the corner. I was contacted several years ago by an anthropologist who was studying the Hopi Indian Tribes. There are apparently lithographs on a face of the Colorado River that describe the time line of the earth. In the time line, it tells of a Medicine Woman, that rises out of the Pacific Ocean and brings Medicine back to the natives in a leather pouch. She is referred to as "The Calf Woman". In this lithograph, there is a piece missing, off the sun in the corner. This woman seemed to think that a Polynesian Nation had the stone, and she seemed to think, it was my grandfather. I don't know, I had only seen the stone once, and it was very sacred to the family, I don't know why, but it wasn't native stone. You should pursue your quest. " (admin note: I had previously asked this friend if she knew anyone who could assist me in getting the Taimaui Sailing Canoe Society rolling.)
" This Anthropologist seemed to think that I was the "Calf Woman", but I don't think so...The Calf Woman is known as a myth throughout American Indian Tribes, and her arrival comes right before the earths destruction. There is always a place for her to participate in the prayer circles or Healing wheels that are scattered throughout the US. I don't use a leather briefcase, or binder, I use a computer! ...." ..." I think that you should contact Paul Cox. Do you know him? He can be very valuable in these types of projects, he speaks fluent Samoan, and even speaks fluent Royal Samoan, which is a different language from the common people. He can help you with your project, is world renown and also has a huge reputation among our people. Have you seen the movie with Shawn Connery "The Medicine Man"? It is about Paul Cox and his pursuit of my Grandfathers knowledge of Medicine. Paul Cox would be more help, he also is involved with conservation measures in that pacific region having to do with Rain Forest's and Ocean." (website administrator's note...I have yet to view this film.)
(Another portion of an email from Tuesday November 9, 2004) "The Royal Geneology says that we migrated on boats to "escape war and persecution". There was a storm, and we were blown off course. (admin note: probably around 55 BC on a group of boat to North America from South America, and when they were blown off course, had decided to run before the trades to eventually find land...which they did, and which illustrates the good sailing qualities of the boats used at the time.)
" When we arrived at the chain of Islands, Families departed, Father, Mother and boys only. The girls were to be left on one of the boats and given to other families as mates." (admin note: This shows that the boats were seaworthy and the navigation skills of the sailors were of quality to allow them to stay together as a fleet, and that it was not merely a drift voyage, as was previously supposed, but was under sail and full control...and this indicates that others from this group or other groups had been there also or accompanied this particular family to this area.)
"Each family departed when the island was found to support life, water, fruit, roots and plants to build homes with." (admin note: This indicates that previously the islands had been peopled but were then empty. Most Polynesian plants require man to transport them over the sea, and require cultivation.) " My grandfather told me that that was why Togans and Samoans fought so much, because we were from the same family and spoke similar language."...(note: History shows that Samoans and Tongans had some times of war, later being resolved and an alliance formed)
"..I know that to follow the Samoan and Tongan Geneology, it is very expensive. You have to pay for your linage, and sometimes the information is confusing, because of title names changing last names. Ie, My grandfather whom I am named after was "Fonotimoana Afualu, he married Salu, but my grandmother refers to her as "Maleiatoa Mitipia" but in Samoa, everyone tells me that my Grandfather, Fonotimoana was the first "Maliatoamitipia" which is the kings title. It's confusing for me, and I'm his heir! The old ones know what the truth is, but they don't recite unless you speak the royal language and you have royal blood. I have royal blood, and the royal title, but I can't speak the royal language. Paul can, and he is wonderful, but I haven't found the time or resources to go back to Samoa. You can relate I know. Anyway, I read your article, and...it makes you think! It's good, you should go into Anthropology! Pacific Rim!"
(Admin note: as for her reference to an artical she'd read, she is probably actually referring to Peniamina's Solo o le Va site I had referred her to at the time of this correspondance.)
Interesting tidbits of little-known Polynesian facts:
Did you know that the ancient Hawaiian language did not use the letters "K" or "W" or "L" in old times? The language changed in the early 1800s because of European influence. The real Hawaiian language was actually more like Tahitian...using "T" "V" and "R" instead. What is heard today as "Hawaiian" really is not the true language.
Did you know that Bora Bora is not the true name for the island in the Society islands? In the old times, Tahitians would send away people who may have committed crimes to that island, sort of how England sent prisoners to Australia...and the name was "Apura Apura" which sort of means "Go Away"..and the Europeans who documented the name had incorrectly done so. The Tahitian language does not use the letter "B" in it.
This one is sort of a whistle-blower, because of some evil things I had witnessed while living in Samoa, some things I found most disappointing:
Those of you who may have visited the islands may have observed that some Polynesians, especially in Tonga and Samoa, I hear more so than some other Polynesian islands, may often have very abusive domestic situations in homes and schools. -And this behaviour is never mentioned in the travel brochures..they always try to sell the Polynesians off as loving and friendly! DISCLAMER: NO OFFENSE IS INTENDED, as SOME Polynesians are indeed some of the best people I have met, and I share similiar ancestry to them, but alot of the people there in Samoa, for example, I have witnessed to be very abusive and caught up in a vicious cycle of violent masculinity and physical abuse- Often, when one confronts a Samoan, for example, as I have, about physically abusing his or her children (not necessarily "children" but teens and even older) or his girlfriend or wife, one gets the excuse that it is a Samoan "custom" and that it is the way they "teach" their victim right or wrong. That is not so. In the old days, Polynesians never hit their children. It is documented that it was unchiefly to ever strike one's wife as well. It was against the ancient religion of Mana to do this sort of thing. This "custom" was adopted by foriegn influence, and therefore actually NOT a true Polynesian thing...this rather bourgeois behaviour that was learnt from the foriegners (Beginning with the likes of Bligh and Cook's crews) is something that needs to be stopped.
Bear with us as this is still under development.
One of mine. Taken by friend Rick Call from his kayak in mid November 2005. (above)
Courtesy of Rick Call, taken from his kayak, early Summer 2005. (above)
One of mine. Courtesy of Rick Call, taken from his kayak.(above)
Closer shot of same. (above)