10 Nov 2015

FSM donates canoe to South Carolina plantation

9:09 pm on 10 November 2015

The people of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia have donated a traditional canoe to people in the American state of South Carolina.

The donation is thanks for the help offered by South Carolinians after Typhoon Maysack.

The FSM donated Wa'a with outrigger removed in preparation for shipment.

The FSM donated Wa'a with outrigger removed in preparation for shipment. Photo: RNZI Courtesy of Wa'agey Cultural Preservation and Mentorship Program

Master carvers on Yap crafted the canoe out of breadfruit and mahogany trees brought down in the super typhoon which devastated the states of Yap and Chuuk in March leaving five people dead.

A representative of the carvers Larry Raigetal says the vessel or wa'a is a single person outrigger canoe which can be displayed in a museum or is functional enough to take shrimping in South Carolina's tidal creeks.

"My hope is that, yes they can use it to paddle around and go catch some fish or whatever. So we just gave it to them as our gift telling them that it is a canoe that can be used for its purpose, its intended purpose. However how they use it is something I have yet to find out."

The master carvers are part of a cultural preservation and mentorship programme in Yap called Wa'agey.

The wa'a will be sent to the 17th century plantation, Point of Pines, on Edisto Island in South Carolina.

The Habele outer island education fund co-ordinated both the relief effort and the delivery of the wa'a which will be dedicated and commissioned on Edisto Island in spring.