Tama Moana

The artist has always been fascinated by the Pacific cultures and the multitude of different type of canoes associated with them, in particular those carved within the Polynesian Triangle, Micronesia and Melanesia. So his interest, as a canoe modeler, does not simply rest in re-creating ancient types of Hawaiian canoes or reproduce the Hokule’a, but also to make models of some of the most amazing vessels that were constructed long ago within Oceania but have all but disappeared from its islands. More over, and this is always a particular and exciting challenge, he loves to replicate those larger voyaging canoes that have recently been built in the South Pacific. What ever the type of canoe he decides to reproduce; it is a task that requires in depth research and his lasting gratitude goes towards the late Herb Kane without whom we would not be able to know the beautiful shape of some Oceanic canoes. The artist¬† also likes to refer to the works of Hadden & Hornell as well as the immensely illustrated volumes of Jean Neyret. The internet has replaced books and it is while reading online about the Lapita culture, which is at the root of Polynesian culture and famous for its pottery style, that the artist became interested in the Lapita Voyage Project whose principals were Klaus Hympendahl, a German author and photographer, explorer, sailor and ship architect of catamarans James Wharram, and Hanneke Boon who is Wharram’s design partner.

The objective of the Lapita Voyage Project was to built two double hull canoes and sail them from the Philippines to the island of Anuta, a route of 4,000 miles which is believed to be the one used by the Lapita culture during their expansion. The name of one of those canoes was TAMA MOANA.

To replicate this double hull vessel the artist relied on pictures and on a set of basic dimensions only, but that material was sufficient for him to calculate the approximative size or dimensions of most individual parts of the canoe.

It took the artist a full three months to build the model.