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Ama  (Canoe Outrigger Float)

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The traditional Hawaiian Ama was unique in its shape and method of attachment to the 'iako.  Moderately curved, the front of the Ama (called the Lupe) and the back of the Ama (called the Kanaka) rose out of the water.  The front of the Ama was shaped to form a "cutwater" edge that reduced resistance when traveling in rough seas.  The rear end of the ama (Kanaka) was often trimmed to create a flat surface on the upper surface of the Ama. The portion of the Ama located between the two 'iako was called the Kino.  The Kino was frequently left round but often times squared off with the edges being rounded.  The leading edge of the Lupe was called the Puali while portion of the front of the Ama located between the Lupe and and the forward 'iako was called the Umauma.

The most favored wood for creating an Ama was the Wiliwili tree.  While Hau was often used when Wiliwili was not available,  Wiliwili was the most preferred.

The construction of Ama was done by specialized craftsmen that were separate from the people that constructed the hull of the canoe.  When a young Wiliwili tree was found and desired for the construction of an Ama the craftsman would Mālama the young tree trimming unwanted side branches and shaping the growing tree into the curved shape that became the Ama.

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More on the Hawaiian Ama from
The Hawaiian Canoe by Tommy Holmes

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