Experimental Voyages by Two Traditional Canoes of the Kula Area, Papua New Guinea, One Real and One Virtual, Provide Insights into the Study of Ancient Sailing Technology of the Pacific Ocean

Authors

  • Loughlin Dudley Yacht Research Unit, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Auckland
  • Richard G.J. Flay Yacht Research Unit, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Auckland
  • Geoffrey Irwin University of Auckland
  • Frederick Damon Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia

Abstract

We compare identical voyages by two traditional Kula sailing canoes in the Massim, Papua New Guinea. One voyage was made by a real canoe in 2002 and the other voyage by a virtual canoe, retrospectively in 2020. Both voyages were made in the same recorded weather. The sailing capability of the two canoes was closely matched. The simulated voyage establishes that theoretical modelling of canoe sailing performance can be realistic and applied to the study of archaeological canoe remains. In addition, the voyage of the real canoe, as recorded by Damon (2017), demonstrates the hazards and difficulties of sailing directly downwind in such craft. The results of the two voyages provide insights into the on-going study of early voyaging in the Pacific Ocean.

Published

21-12-2021

How to Cite

Dudley, L., Flay, R. G., Irwin, G. and Damon, F. (2021) “Experimental Voyages by Two Traditional Canoes of the Kula Area, Papua New Guinea, One Real and One Virtual, Provide Insights into the Study of Ancient Sailing Technology of the Pacific Ocean”, Journal of Pacific Archaeology, 12(1), pp. 32–45. Available at: https://pacificarchaeology.org/index.php/journal/article/view/336 (Accessed: 21 May 2024).

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Articles