Model of a Traditional Fijian Boat or ‘Drua’

Model of a Traditional Fijian Boat or ‘Drua’
Model of a Traditional Fijian Boat or ‘Drua’
2016/14792

1850-1900 / Fabric / Other / Sculpture / Wood / World Parish
Wood
c.1900

Wesleyan Methodist missionaries started work in Tonga, Fiji, in 1835 and by the late 19th century had converted most Fijians to Christianity.

This artefacts marries old traditions with new. Drua boats, also known as Waqa Tabu ("sacred canoe"), were large, traditional, double-hull sailing boats in use in Fiji at the time Christianity arrived. At that time, their main role was as war ships. This boat model has its sail painted with a cross, as a symbol of the peaceful conversion and nature of the Fijians.