Whitby Museum has two amazing models of Maori War Canoes. For a number of years they have been displayed on top of one of the cabinets so when we moved them into storage while the room is decorated I was able to get a much closer look at them and for the first time see into them. Over the next couple of weeks I am intended to gently remove some of the accumulated dust ready for them to be re-displayed.
While I was trying to find a bit more information I found an interesting photo-essay by Associate Professor Tony Whincup on the following link
Although he is describing a form of outrigger canoe (a completely different thing to the model war canoe I have been looking at) it was fascinating to see how the bindings are made as we have many objects with this style of binding in the museum collection. He describes and shows the making of a traditional canoe of Kiribati, using local resources and although the canoe is very much part of the male domain he says the "women play a vital role of making sennit string. After several months of soaking the coconut husk in the lagoon, women tease the fibres from it. Rolling the fine strands on their thighs, skein after skein of string is made. This string is used in every aspect of the canoe's construction. With it the planks of the hull are stitched together, the outrigger is lashed on and all spars are held firmly in place."