The most recent addition to my collection of outrigger canoe models is this fine example from Pukapuka in the Cook Island group.   The fine detail and authentic sewn construction indicate that it was most likely built by someone who was experienced at building full scale canoes.
Pukapuka was brought to outside attention mostly through the books of Robert Dean Frisbee.


  1. Hi Gary, nice model. I know a Cook Island family well and they have a similar model, I think not as detailed. I must catch up and get some photos, from memory there are definite similarities, e.g. the shapes of the hull ends. I'm off to google your reference... Cheers Dave

  2. Hi Gary
    That's an orsum model.
    I got given one by my grandfather Sir Apenera Short, of Rarotonga.
    It looks almost identical. I had know idea what it was or where it was from however, I was taken back by the amount of detail that went into such a beautiful looking model.
    On the side of it in pencil someone wrote Pukapuka on it.
    That's where I started my search for the crafts origins.
    I did go to Pukapuka twice in the early 80s....wow what a paradise.
    I'll put some pictures of my canoe up for those interested.
    Cheers Gary
    Dave Walker

  3. I did contact someone in Pukapuka by email about this model. They said because it had "Pukapuka School" written on it, that it would have been carved in the 50's before the school name was changed. It remains the best model in my collection and is better than any I've seen in museums. I look at it every day.


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