queentatooine (queentatooine) wrote in little_details,

Pacific Islanders Fleet Communication

In the movie Moana, she finds a drum on the deck of one of the canoes located in the cavern.  However I cannot find any drums on the decks of the canoes in any of the flash back scenes.

A google search confirmed that some of the people of the pacific had complcated drum codes that would be used during war to coordinate different units.  I can find nothing about them being used on the ocean going vessels.

From the construction they seem perfect for use on the sea.  They have no hide to be damaged by the salty water and the construstion allows the water to drain easily from the drum body.

I figure that fleets such as we saw in the movie Moana had to have some form of communication between vessels.  Some way to indicate a vessel was in trouble, report on supply levels, signal that a person was overboard, or if they got lost from the fleet, a way to make enough noise they would be found. 

I assume drums were used for the purpose of communicating across the fleet, does anyone have any idea if this was true?  If so did every vessel have a drum of one size or another or did they keep to small groups which would have at least one drum carrying vessel?

Thank you in advance.

Edit: I was asked to include the year.  I'm not entirely familiar with South Pacific history but I believe the timeframe the culture would best match that of the movie would be between 1700 and 1800.

Tags: oceania (misc), ~boats and other things that float

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