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Stories From Kiribati


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Parts of the Kiribati canoe

Posted by Amota Eromanga on August 30, 2012 at 2:15 AM

Hopefully you have arrived at this page because you want to know the names and locations of almost all different and distinctive parts of the Kiribati canoe. If so, then you have come to the right spot as here, the names, locations and purposes of the canoe parts have all been listed down - so that you know exactly where and why they are on the canoe.

The information has been organised with the help of the table below. In the first column of the table, you will find the Kiribati names of all the canoe parts. The second column contains their English equivalents including their descriptions. The last column, as you will see, states the purposes of such parts.

For easier understanding, the names have been divided into five groups as below:

A: Parts of the Sail - 9                 D: Different Ropes - 5

B: Parts of the Body - 16             E: Parts that are Movable - 5

C: Parts of the Float - 3

You will find the diagram of the canoe right below the table. The numbers 1-38 on the diagram correspond to the names in the table. This will help you to easily locate what and where those parts are on the canoe itself.

A: Parts of the SAIL




1. Ie

Sail (thick cloth)

Moves canoe by collecting wind

2. Take

The upper corner of the sail

Holds and joins upper yard-arm and lower yard-arm

3. Teinaieta

Upper yard-arm - part of the sail that goes upwards

Straightens the sail upwards into the air

4. Teinainano

Lower yard-arm - bottom part of the sail that lies horizontally or across

Straightens the bottom part of the sail and controls amount of air being used

5. Bakaoko

String that attaches sail onto the yard-arm

Attaches sail onto the yard-arm

6. Winiie

The area around the spot where the yard-arms meet

Joins the upper and lower yard-arms and allows the sail to move flexibly

7. Winibati

Lower corner of the sail

Lower corner of the sail

8. Man or Buraeki

The flag

Decoration and displaying messages

9. Takataka (1)

Yard-arm socket - the spot (made of wood) located at both ends of the canoe

Allows the bottom tip of the teinaieta (upper yard-arm) to sit firmly

B: Parts of the BODY




10. Kabi


Building block of bottom part of the canoe

11. Rai



12. Rabwatan te wa

Hull of canoe

Hull of canoe

13. Tabon te wa

End of the hull

End of the hull

14. Katea

Side of the canoe opposite to the outrigger

Side of the canoe opposite to the outrigger

15. Baretama

Platform on the outrigger

Offer space on the canoe

16. Karetaba

The board located at both ends of the canoe

Raises both ends of the canoe higher

17. Mango

Stem posts - the curve shaped woods at both ends of the canoe

Gives the u shape end of the canoe - building block

18. Kiaromoti

Cross beams - woods that lie across the canoe body

Holds the two sides of the canoe together

19. Kiaro

Outrigger booms - longer woods that join the body and the float together forming outrigger

Holds and joins the canoe body and the outrigger float

20. Aiai

Ribs - inner woods going down the side (planks) of the hull of the canoe.

Supports and holds the planks and the canoe hull

21. Bai

Outrigger stay - wood that runs from the outrigger booms to the body of the canoe

Holds the outrigger booms and the body firmly

22. Naniman

Outrigger cross braces - woods lying across the kiaro

Holds the two or more outrigger booms (kiaro) firmly together

23. Tabio

Forked wood placed close to both ends of the canoe

Holds the steering paddle in place

24. Tuunari or Takataka (2)

Socket (made of wood) located in the middle of the canoe body.

Rests and holds the bottom end of the mast properly and firmly

25. Tunga

Small hole at the bottom of the canoe

Drains water out

C: Parts of the FLOAT




26. Raama

Outrigger side of the canoe

Outrigger side of the canoe

27. Rama

Outrigger float - the float is usually light and less dense wood

It floats and makes the canoe balance horizontally at sea

28. Toto

Forked pieces of wood for securing outrigger float

Joins and secures the outrigger booms and the float firmly

D: Different ROPES




29. Baba

Sheet - rope tied to the lower yard-arm of the sail

Rope to pull or let go the bottom part of the sail

30. Ata

Stay - rope tied from the top of the mast to the end of the outrigger

Holds and pulls the mast and the sail from falling over - also controls the best vertical position of the sail

31. Buraoki

Block - allows rope to move easily to both directions

Lessens friction onto the stay and allows it to move about

32. Katangtang

Rope tied from one end of the canoe up to the top of the mast then goes down to the other end of the canoe

Holding the mast firmly in the air

33. Kaababa or Tikotiko

Rope with one end tied to the top of upper yard-arm while the other end is tied onto the end of the outrigger.

Helps holding the sail and the mast

E: Parts that are MOVABLE




34. Aneang


Raises up the sail

35. Tura

Mast supporter - wood for supporting the mast

Holds and supports the mast

36. Bwe or Bweuru

The steer paddle

Steer the canoe

37. Bwennarina

The paddle

Moves the canoe when the sails is not being used

38. Anima


Removes water from inside canoe

If you know of any parts to have been left out from the above lists, please say so in the comment so we add them later as we revise the article.

Categories: Culture & Custom

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