The Fiji Museum - Virtual Museum


Surrounded by ocean, the people of Fiji developed a wide range of canoes to meet their fishing, transportation, trade and warfare needs. The largest of these canoes was the drua and in the early 1800s Fijian canoes were faster and more seaworthy than the best ships Europe could produce. Fijians were skilful sailors who could navigate long distances across the open ocean and had extensive trade networks with distant islands. The major maritime powers of Bau, Rewa and Lau all had large fleets of canoes with which to enforce and defend their influence.