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HISTORIC CANOE AT CENTRE OF FORTHCOMING EXHIBITION

A traditional hand-built Fijian canoe, a thrilling feature at the Queen's 90th Birthday Pageant, will soon be the centrepiece of a major forthcoming exhibition, entitled: 'Fiji: Art and Life in the Pacific', taking place at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, from 15 October 2016 to 12 February 2017.

The Queen's 90th Birthday Celebration Pageant took place in the private grounds of Windsor Castle over 4 days in May, and the 8m-long double-hulled sailing canoe, or drua, was accompanied to the pageant by 45 members of the Fijian Army Band and Dancers.

Traditional Fijian Canoe

A Traditional Fijian Canoe

Funded by the German National Exhibition Centre in Bonn, the canoe was built in Fiji in 2015, exclusively from wood and coir cord, containing no metal components.  It is a smaller version of the traditional 30m crafts of the C19th, the largest canoes ever built. It forms part of a project to encourage more traditional canoe-building skills in Fiji.

The canoe will be the central feature of what will be the largest ever exhibition on Fiji, featuring sculptures, textiles, ceramics, ivory and shell regalia, dating back to the late C18th.  Captivating paintings, drawings and photographs from the C19th and C20th will help illustrate and give context to the works of art on display.

Over 270 works of art are being loaned to the exhibiton by exhibition partner, the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge, and by Fiji Museum, the British Museum, the Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford) and museums in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Exeter, London, Maidstone, and Dresden and Leipzig in Germany.

Traditional Fijian Canoe

Drawing depicting traditional Fijian Canoes

For more information, visit the The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.