Wooden canoe


The secondary students asked questions to the elders in the community to find out more about the paiere.

Question 1. Why is the paiere important in our families in Mitiaro ?

If you have a paiere, it is easy for you to find food to feed your family.
If there is no petrol, you can still use your paiere for fishing.
We eat a lot of fish on our island and the paiere helps us get our fish.
There are certain kinds of fishing methods which forbids the use of the outboard motor, like taei maroro or ta itiki.

Question 2. What are the different types of fishing that we use the paiere for?

Most kinds of fishing: deep sea fishing, mackerel fishing, tuna fishing, flying fish fishing, net fishing,
Fishing for eels in the fresh water lake.

Question 3. How many types of paiere are there on Mitiaro?

Three types: Plywood paiere (modern material) tied up with nylon ropes.
Traditional hull paiere tied with nylon ropes.
Traditional hull tied up with ka'a (sinnet)

Question 4. What are the advantages of the modern paiere?

The pointy bow is designed to 'cut through' the water easily.

Question 5. What are the advantages of the traditional canoe?

You do not need to buy any materials like marine ply, nails, rolls of nylon for tying.
The traditional canoe does not need any glue like the modern canoe does.
Glue is very expensive and you have to buy lots to glue the modern paiere.
The traditional paiere last longer.
The hull is made from one whole piece of wood. It is harder for the water to seep through.
The traditional paiere is easier to steer.

Question 6. Do you agree that our pa metua (more experienced family members) should share the knowledge of the paiere to us the new generation?

All the people who were interviewed agreed.
They wanted our traditional knowledge to continue living for the future. They do not want us to depend too much on money.
Some of them said that it would be a waste if the knowledge and skills of our ui tupuna is not passed on to the new generation.