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Volume 4, 1871
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Description of Moriori Canoes.

2. Mr. Travers read the following description of Moriori Canoes, received from Mr. A. Shand, formerly Resident Magistrate at the Chatham Islands:—

“The Morioris had four kinds of canoes, but each much of the same kind or shape. One was called a ‘Waka Puhara’ or ‘Korari,’ made like the one sent to the Colonial Museum, with two keels. The stern-post was called a ‘koua,’ and carved, and the two pieces of wood projecting from the stern were called the ‘puremu,’ and were also carved. This canoe was generally 30 to 35 feet long, 4 to 5 feet deep, and the same in width.

“A ‘Waka Rimu’ was another kind, similar to the first, but having no korari about it, and only kelp put in the body of the canoe.

“A ‘Waka Pahi,’ the same as the one sent to the Museum, was the sort of canoe used to go to the islands, birding, etc. The size of a large one was— the keels each 30 feet, the koua 12 feet, the puremu 10 feet—about 50 feet over all; breadth 8 feet; depth 5 feet. The keels were made of matipou, the koua and puremu of akeake, the rest of such timber as the island afforded. The kelp used to make it float was the ‘rimapa,’ or broad flat bull kelp, which was dried and then put in, and taken out when done with, and replaced when rotten.

“The fourth kind of canoe was much the same as a New Zealand mokihi, but made with korari and rarauhe stalks, being quite low, and had wooden images of men made and placed theron, from twelve to twenty-four in number, with each a paddle tied to its hands, and then, with a fair wind, was started off to sea to the God Rongotakuiti, who replied by sending seals and shoals of blackfish ashore. It was called a ‘Waka Ra.’”