the contemporary pacific · fall 2001 members by building several tepuke and sailing them to remote destinations under the direction of skilled navigators. The entire procedure was to be captured on video. The project was embraced and carried out by the Taumako community, with financial support from several government ministries and private businesses, and with anthropologist Mimi George serving as director and principal investigator. These two films represent a first step in documenting the project's accomplishments. Heirs of Lata focuses on the process of constructing a voyaging canoe, from selection and felling of a tree for the hull to the eventual launching. It includes scenes of the community pulling an enormous log along skids from the island's interior to the beach. And it shows the major canoe-making activities: shaping the hull with axes and adzes; plaiting sennit cord; lashing pieces together; fashioning pandanus sails; and preparing wood preservative from seaweed. Vaka Taumako covers some of the same ground, even using some of the same video footage, but it focuses on the project's first interisland voyage. It shows preparations for departure, the canoe's performance at sea, its arrival at Nifiloli in the Reef Islands, and the voyagers' enthusiastic reception.
The Contemporary Pacific – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jul 1, 2001
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