Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Familiar Shape - from the East

This boat caught my eye today as I was walking through a museum in Southern California.

Sure, I knew it wasn't a gondola, but I did a double-take and went for my camera.

It turned out to be a "canoe" from Orchid Island, which is off the southeast coast of Taiwan.

The boat has some very familiar shapes, especially the bow.

After doing a little research, I found that these boats are traditional vessels, built and operated by the Yami - a tribe known for their practice of hunting flying fish.

Unlike gondolas, these canoes are built with a center keel and round bottom.
They are operated by rowers who tether their oars to small pedestals on either rail.

In some ways they remind me of boats I've seen pictures of in Malta (a small Mediterranean island), because of the bright colors and attention to detail.

It didn't take the museum staff long to shoo me out, saying something about "blah, blah, no pictures, blah, blah, don't photograph the exhibits, blah blah", you get the idea.
I'm sure they're paranoid that some bonehead will take pictures and then put 'em up on the internet or something.

It's amazing what people will do these days with their digital cameras.

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