Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/316

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Arts of Life.

narrow hull, and have a house upon one of them for the crew. In these canoes, with the large sail rising into curved horns, they make long voyages to Vanikoro and other islands that they know, steering by the stars. The Solomon Island plank-built canoe has probably not been developed in ignorance of the outrigger[1]. In the straits between long islands like Malanta and Guadalcanar the natives have prided themselves on the skill with which they build and paddle their canoes. Ulawa was once a famous centre of manufacture and of sale[2]. Canoes from Saa would make a six days' voyage for trade and pleasure, to Owa, Santa Anna and Santa Catalina, in one direction, steering by the stars at night, and to Alite in the other. Large canoes again cross from Alite to Guadalcanar to exchange money and ornaments for food, and as they return heavily laden throw out floats of dry cocoa-nuts at night, to rest and sleep. The moon in her second quarter lying on her back is called in Florida a 'canoe of Mala.' A very graceful little catamaran is used within the reefs of San Cristoval; five or six stems of the fronds of the sago-palm lashed together, the tips of them brought back by lines towards the butts, and the end of the high curved prow so formed decorated with a crimson streamer. A war canoe of the first rate is a long while in building; for three successive years I had the opportunity of seeing one at Ha'ani, from the bea set up to gain funds when the work began to the last ornamentation with shell carvings and streamers. Such a canoe forty-five feet long would carry ninety men. The form of a Florida peko is more graceful than that of the Ulawa build; the large one in Takua's great kiala at Boli was sixty

  1. Dr. Guppy mentions Bishop Patteson's notice of an outrigger canoe at San Cristoval, said to have been built after a Santa Cruz model. Within the last few years again it has been said that at Ulawa they have lately learnt to catch sharks after a Santa Cruz fashion in outrigger canoes. But they certainly caught sharks in that way more than twenty years ago; and it is likely that if they had copied Santa Cruz canoes they had done so long before Bishop Patteson observed the outriggers. Such small canoes are not uncommon.
  2. A large Ulawa canoe is preserved in the Brenchley Museum at Maidstone; another is in the British Museum.