Names of Canoe Parts


Names of canoe parts

Each part of a traditional Marshallese canoe has its own specific name. Below are the names in Marshallese and English. Below these words is a description of the lashings on a canoe.

canoe parts names in 2 cols

Lashing details

Lashing on a canoe made by WAM for Ailuk Atoll.

Lashing on a canoe made by WAM for Ailuk Atoll. Photo: Karen Earnshaw

Elmakwot: This is the very first lashing we use on this canoe which is actually temporary, holding parts in place while they are fine shaped or so they remain tight while the permanent lashing is executed. The ekkwal is threaded through the two holes that tie the certain parts together six to eight times, or as many as times as will thread through the hole. The lines is then knotted to hold it in place and a hardwood wedge (katok) is driven under this temporary lashing, pulling the parts tightly together. When lashing the main hull the elmakwot are places about every 6-8 lashing holes. This beginning of this lashing is the same as the emem, explained in the next sequence, but without the lebout (figure 64).
Emem: This knot lashes the main hull together. This same type of lashing is used for the following lashings: to tie the planking of the main platform (põtak) together, well as to the side rails and the main booms; the sacrificial keel (erer) to the bottom of the hull; all of the parts of the lee platform (kein maan roñ) with the main hull; the mast step to the top of the põtak; the mainsail sheet cleats (jirukli to the side of the hull. The same technique and style of lashings used on Enewetak are similarly used as described on Likiep (Alessio 1990), Namdik Atoll (Alessio 1991a) and Ailuk (Alessio 1991c) with the exception of some specific name differences between the Ratak and Ralik dialects. An added exception is that the style of lashing used in Namdik, tying the mweiur to the apet and kie is used in Enewetak for lashing the crosspieces (kein ioon ere), which support the secondary platform (ere) to the apet and kie.

Layout of the jojo (the outrigger lift lashed to the kie) and kabõj (The lashing which ties the ends of the jojo to the top of the kubaak).
Kabõj: This lashing is tied around the groove carved into the end of the jojo before going down and through hole drilled at the outer ends of the ae. The number of wraps depends on the builder, usually 6 to 12 on a canoe this size (figure 70a). The entire lashing is wrapped around itself lebout style b. This is the lashing which, integral with the jojo, acts as the shock absorber when the kubaak moves up and down with the waves.
Ino in Jõbarbar: Lashing which ties the two sail booms together. At the kõpãlpel end of the rojak maan, from the end and in the side an ekkwal ring is looped through about 20 wraps and then wrapped around itself using the lebout technique, tying the bottom of the loop together so that the rojak okra can be lashed to it (figure 72a). The end of the rojak is completely wrapped with coconut coir to the loop.
Ino in erer: Five holes large enough to accept six wraps of lashing line are drilled into the erer. One in the center, two approximately 1 jetan (7in [18cm]) from both bejõñ line, and two more about 4 ar (3in [7.6cm]) from both ends. This same procedure is done in the bottom of the hull with the exception that the outer holes are drilled one makwõj (1in [2.5cm]) closer to the outer ends of the erer in order to reduce fore and aft slippage of the erer while beaching. In other words the outside lashings are at an angle and not exactly vertical. The holes are two ar (3.8cm [1.5″]) apart at the seam. The lashing knot is the same emem type used for the main hull.