The Fiji Museum - Virtual Museum

Domodomo

The larger, massive domodomo (horned masthead) comes from the last ocean going double hulled canoe, called the Ramarama, a final link in a chain of great drua of the same name, built for the Tui Cakau by his mataitoga, the descendants of a clan of Samoan canoe builders (the Lemaki) who were brought to Fiji from Tonga in the late 1700s. The final Ramarama was built between 1872 and 1877, drua of her size and quality generally being under construction for 5-7 years. On completion she was presented by the Tui Cakau to Ratu Seru Cakobau, Vunivalu of Bau. After Ratu Cakobau’s death in 1883 she was returned to Somosomo where she finally decayed and was broken up in 1892. The main hull of the Ramarama was 30.2 metres long, the total length of the mast 19.8 metres and this domodomo is 4.3 metres long.

The smaller domodomo is about 2 metres long and would have come from a drua or camakau about 15 metres long. The hardwood vesi masthead was lashed to a mast made of a much springier wood.

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