1835: Fijian double canoe with platform and cabin

Lorimer Fison, in his  Tales of Old Fiji, used this undated and unreferenced image, above,  “from an old block” etching of a “Fijian double canoe.”

Construction of the double canoe: Fison wrote “A double canoe is made of two queer-shaped boats, which are fastened together, side by side, with a considerable space between them, by timbers laid across the midship gunwales of both, and lashed thereto with sinnet. Over these timbers the deck is laid, two open spaces being left, fore and aft, in each boat, for bailing.

Method of tacking: The ends are covered in and are considerably lower than the midships. In tacking, a canoe is not hove about like our vessels, and has therefore, strictly speaking, neither stem nor stern that being the stern on one tack which is the stern on the other. And as in tacking the sail is shifted from one end of the canoe to the other, the mast working on a pivot at the foot, the same broadside is always to windward. The boat, then, on the weather side is called thama, and that to leeward the kata.

Paddles: I have spoken of paddles, but they are more like oars or sculls, and, when in use, are held nearly perpendicularly, the blade being let down through holes in the deck. There are paddles also, which are different things, having long, slender handles, and short, broad blades”.

FISON Lorimer, 1832-1907. Tales From Old Fiji. (pp. 89, 100). Alexander Moring Ltd The De La More Press 32 George Street Hanover Square London W 1904 Printed By Ballantyne, Hanson & Co. At The Ballantyne Press http://www.archive.org/details/talesfromoldfiji00fisouoft

1840: Polygamy made sense in Levuka as the care of a Feejee household was “too much hard work for one woman”

An American visitor to Levuka, Fiji, in 1940, said “Everything relating to the procuring and preparing of food, except in part the taking of fish, appeared to devolve upon the women ; and I often met them bearing (on the back) enormous loads of firewood and yams”.

Men carry no burdens: “On the other hand, I do not remember to have seen the men carrying burdens, unless when hired (through the chiefs) to bring supplies of wood, water, and provisions, for trading vessels”.

Men exclusively control canoes and taro: “The men, however, exclusively manage the canoes, which, as well as the houses, they also build ; they construct the terraces for taro cultivation, and engage in other details of agricultural industry. These occupations, however, take up a comparatively small portion of their time ; and in reference to the prevalence of polygamy, I heard a resident declare, that the care of a Feejee household was ” too much hard work for one woman.”
The Races Of Man; By Charles Pickering, M.D., Member Of The United States Exploring Expedition.