06 January 2011


French for dug-out canoe.

I finally got to go to the Museum of New Caledonia to have a look at their collection of outrigger canoes. It has been a while since I was there last but I do recall them having some on display. As it turned out I was in for a bit of a disappointment; there were only two pirogues on display, a small (2-3m dug-out) canoe with a thin outrigger and a life-sized replica of a double hulled pirogue, I’m not sure if it counts as an outrigger but it certainly appears to be a proa.

My second disappointment was that there was a ban on photographing the exhibitions. Reasoning that it was to prevent damage from the flash, I turned mine off and took some photos of the double-hulled proa on the sly. It did mean that I had to use my point and shoot camera instead of my DSLR so please forgive the poor quality.

The netting is a turtle net and unfortunately the information board was in French so I don’t know if it ever sailed.


The hulls are decked over the top with the planks tied down with coconut fibre rope, in the Kanak style for their larger sailing pirogues. The top decking has access holes so that the inside of the hull can be reached.

Truth be told, I’m impressed with how well my Canon D10 performed in these conditions.

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