Traditional Wood Outrigger

Traditional Wood Outrigger

This traditional, wood-carved, Hawaiian outrigger canoe is a good example of how Hawaiians built their wa’a not too long ago.

Today, outrigger canoes are made from all types of materials from Koa wood to high-tech carbon-fibers. Some wa’as are still made in this traditional way though, all the way down to the coconut rope lashings.

Outriggers came in many different styles throughout Polynesia, and even within just the Hawaiian islands. This photo shows a common style with a single a’ama (side outrigger). With a hull carved from a single tree, this wa’a took hundreds of man-hours to build.

This wa’a is on display at Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Park.

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