Gift for Taiwan

To thank the government and people of Taiwan for all they do for the Marshall Islands, in 2005 President Kessai H. Note commissioned the Waan Aelõñ in Majel program to build a canoe that would be presented to then President Chen Shui-bian.

Following tradition, the canoe hull and outrigger float were built from the wood of a breadfruit tree and the outrigger booms and sail booms were built using wood from the Lukwej tree, which is a member of the mangosteen family.

According to WAM Director Alson Kelen: “In the olden days, it would take up to a year to build such a canoe, but we made this one in just a few weeks.” Two sails were made for the canoe: One from cloth and one from natural fibers. “It was the first woven sail that was used by WAM or maybe any other Marshallese in the last 100 years.” The WAM team used the cloth sail for sea trials.

The canoe was delivered to the Republic of China on a Taiwanese military vessel that was visiting the RMI around that time.