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Cook Museum Whitby

Oceans Apart! Canoes of the Pacific

Oceans apart! Canoes of the Pacific.

Which was faster? A Polynesian war canoe or Cook's Resolution?

This exhibition brought together a wealth of material showing the variety of canoes and catamarans which astounded Cook and his men by their beauty, speed and manoeuvrability.

Cook was keenly interested in the construction and seaworthy qualities of native craft of the Pacific, and his artists drew all manner of different boats to his orders. These form an invaluable record of Polynesian craft at the time of first contact.

        Maori canoe



Displays included paintings and drawings, plans and original artifacts from several sources, including a dramatic Maori canoe prow, now in Hull Maritime Museum, which has not been seen in public for over 100 years.  The carving is of expecially high quality.  

       Maori waka carved detail

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