Model: Samoan va'a (paopao)

Production date
20th Century
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Object detail

Large and ornately decorated Samoan paopao model dugout canoe or va'a, with a single outrigger carved in wood. The bow features a bird shaped figurehead and the stern is decorated with a serrated edge and raised knobs. The entire hull is covered with graphic designs inlaid in shell including a central motif of two hands clasped together in a handshake. One long lau paddle is lashed to the deck.

Fullsize dugout canoes of this type were typically used for inshore fishing

The donor’s father was in the Merchant Navy in the late 1930s. He was employed as an electrical engineer and during his voyages in the 1930s and 1940s he collected objects from the Pacific Islands.
Accession number
Museum System ID
Collection type
Maker and role
Unknown: Maker
Wood: Hull
Natural Fibre: Lashing
Shell: Inlaid designs
Measurement details
3D objects (HxWxD): H 91 x W 1235 x D 160mm
Production place and notes
Samoa, Oceania
On display?
Not on display


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