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And if we talk of local craft ?, In his manuscript entitled the “Great Dictionary of Madagascar,” Barthélémy Huet de Froberville addresses the letter L for “lakana” different canoes, rowing boats, canoes one piece or plank . And, citing various authors.
Tel Legentil “The navy did Madécasses point; similar to all the people of the Sea Islands of India, who have only canoes or boats, they never deviate from the earth to lose sight of the coast. Any browsing Madécasses therefore merely go along the coast and in rivers. They put down every night, and when bad weather surprises at sea they hauling their canoes to the full and take refuge wherever they can. “
Legentil goes on to talk of the difficulties encountered by fishermen who embark on a canoe “made of water,” without making what the scoop.
“When the boat fills too, they have the consistency to land, the discharge if she wears something, and empty. “After that, they reload and go.
The author evokes the great risk to paddlers. A grain bursts, he says, is not able to “make them run the plays” generally installed in the middle of one of the boat benches. To capsize it, you need three things: “Let the canoe supports the wing, it dark underneath, or the breaking listening.” In this case, the fisherman may die.
But in general, the author adds, if a boat capsizes, the boatmen are not in trouble. Knowing all swim very well, they can support in the water and recover the canoe “who straightens in shipping a lot of water.” “To empty, they return their building end to end. Swings that this maneuver communicates to the canoe, cause the water escapes alternately by one and the other end. When they put so much of the water out, they re-embarked and complete the dump with their hands or with the paddle. “
To clarify that very few canoes are seen in Foulpointe, most of which come from Antongil Bay where the population has a lot. Because it trade much to Toamasina. We must also add that Antongil Bay abounds in beautiful wood. At the time, this trade in the bay as St. Mary concerns “Horita” (species of cuttlefish). Étienne de Flacourt mentions in its history. “On many fishing these shores. It makes boucaner, we support the canoes and the door in the south to Tamatave where people are fond. “
Legentil describes canoes are of two kinds. Some are a single trunk, more or less large, they dig through the fire before shaping both ends. “I saw big strong where we could take fifteen to twenty people very comfortably, and that would have been capable of carrying a barrel. “When they are well done, they behave well enough on the water and” go with the speed of a stroke. “
Others are made of planks and much larger since they can carry four to five tons. “He among seven boards in their construction. The background color is the least wide, it serves virtually keel. The other six are laid over thereof, three on each side. “These boards are connected by bark. We put in the seams a tow, also bark, which is plunged a knife, all without pitch or tar.
According Froberville, the two kinds of dugouts are less wide at the front, “so that they are precisely the opposite of our larger vessels and boat washing as the back.” It is certain that these canoes although army-especially those of a single room- “always win our best speed boats,” but “they are not made to go in the sea.”
He concluded by quoting again Legentil which highlights the great effort to achieve a Malagasy dugout. Especially as they have for every tool a small ax, ignoring the use of the saw. First they squaring the trunk, and then share the two solid parts with the same ax. That done, they work the joist and reduce to the desired thickness.
The same work is undertaken on the boards, maximum two per tree trunk unless it is very large. In general, to make a canoe, they use five trees. “These boats never run, even if they fill with water” unless they are charged. And they continue to paddle and get to land as they can.