SUNCITY

Museum Seeks Expertise On Preserving 102-Year-Old Canoe

The Fiji Museum is seeking advice and help from experts in preserving a 102-year-old canoe. According to Peter Nuttall, who is the research associate for Sustainable Shipping Research Programme at
14 Dec 2015 10:30
Museum Seeks Expertise On Preserving 102-Year-Old Canoe
Ratu Finau canoe has been displayed at the Fiji Museum since, 1918. Photo: Shahani Mala.

The Fiji Museum is seeking advice and help from experts in preserving a 102-year-old canoe.

According to Peter Nuttall, who is the research associate for Sustainable Shipping Research Programme at the University of the South Pacific, the canoe known as Ratu Finau is the only surviving double hulled canoe in the world.

“We need some plans from the experts to preserve this artifact. There will be some renovations at the Fiji Museum and we need to move this double hull canoe,” he said.

He said another reason  was that the canoe as infested with termites which would slowly destroy the artifact.

“We know there are experts that can help us in preserving this artifact; we don’t want it to tumble,” he said.

The Fiji Museum is also working with various embassies in Fiji in preserving the canoe.

The Ratu Finau canoe which is said to be the last waqa drua also known as drua or waqa tabu was built by the craftsmen who also built big ocean-going canoes of the eighteen century.

Ratu Finau was made in Vulaga (Fulaga) in 1913 in the Lau Group.

Acquired by the Fiji Museum in 1981, the canoe has been restored by the museum’s conservation section, assisted by Kepueli Cirimatitoga of Vulaga. Kepueli is grandson of the original builder, Amenio Moimatagi.

Conservation work was supported by the Fiji Sixes, the Australian South Pacific Cultures Fund, Sir Thomas Ramsay and the general public.

Edited by: Filipe Naigulevu

Feedback:  shahani.mala@fijisun.com.fj

 

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