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April 2 - Still Sailing Fast and Far in Ancient Polynesian Proas

posted Mar 10, 2019, 5:58 PM by Mark Olsoe   [ updated Mar 10, 2019, 6:17 PM ]

Mimi George from Hawaii will show video, diagrams, and slides of construction and sailing of the TePuke and TeAlo designs of outrigged voyaging canoes, and the explanations and demonstrations of the builders and sailors of these vessels.  These designs are the ancient heritage of the Polynesian community of Taumako, in the SE Solomon Islands. They are the only Pacific islanders still building, sailing, and navigating using only ancient designs, materials, methods, and tools.  But the vessels do not require money or high tech equipment to build or maintain, and they out-perform modern vessels in many ways.  Mimi will show the jobs of crew members and the method of shunting (end to end tacking) will be demonstrated. Mimi will point out hydrodynamic and aerodynamic advantages in the performance of the hull, the outrigger, and the sail, and discuss whether this design can be built using modern materials.  Plan on a lively Q and A discussion!

Marianne “Mimi" George is one of the worlds leading researchers of this ancient polynesian proa technology. Her paper on this topic is listed in our Items of Interest column.