tahiti arts: "gigantic" anchor in new canoe exhibition

va'a in tahiti, waka in aotearoa, wa'a in hawai'i and vaka in rarotonga - a new exhibit opens in french polynesia. One of the last places on earth to be discovered by man is opening a museum exhibition on the extraordinary craft that got us there: va'a. "It was time," says Tahiti museum director Tara Hikuily about the va'a exhibition for traditional dugouts, including ocean going canoes. "All the countries where the dugout is significant, like Hawaii or New Zealand, refer to Tahiti with regards to va'a. However, until today, no exposure has been devoted to this universe. "We had", reported Agence Tahitienne de Presse, "much delay." After three years of work, Hikuily and assistants are about to celebrate the opening of this new exhibition to introduce the "culture of the va'a." Exhibits will include full size models and reductions, canoe equipment like oars, film and photo sequences as well as the "most gigantic canoe anchor ever seen." Visitors will be able to view construction of canoes on film as well as double hull canoe voyaging that led to the settlement of the Pacific. Reconstruction of the voyages was possible due to story boards found in the Tuamotus dating back a thousand years. Also on display, the territory's famous "Terematai" canoe illustrates more recent triumphs from the great Molokai race, in Hawaii, in 1976 "They are fabulous artifacts. No museum in the world can be as proud to have such pieces," says Hikuily.