The importance of sea transport to Tokelau is something that has not diminished over time. It is still an essential part of Tokelauan life, for getting between islands, and for fishing and retrieving materials.
The Tokelau vaka has aspects of canoe design that are unique to Tokelau. A vaka is a large five-man canoe made for fishing, which reflects Tokelau’s communal approach to catching fish. The vaka’s distinctive features include how it is constructed.
Unlike smaller canoes, the vaka is constructed in segments from different trees and ‘sewn’ together with a cord. This technique is not practiced elsewhere due to other Polynesian islands having larger trees to work with than Tokelau. The reasoning for building the vaka in sections is it is made from the kanava tree, which grows in a tapering and twisting fashion. This means only the lower sections of the trunks of the tree are fit for sculpting into the vaka.
Product Listing for Tokelau Vaka
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|Date of issue:||18 June 2014|
|Number of stamps:||Set of four gummed stamps|
|Denominations:||45c, $1.40, $2.00 and $3.00|
|Stamps and first day covers designed by:||New Zealand Post Limited, Wellington, New Zealand|
|Printer:||Collectables and Solutions Centre, New Zealand Post, Whanganui, New Zealand.|
|Number of colours:||Four process colours|
|Stamp size and format:||30mm x 40mm (verticle)|
|Paper type:||Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||16|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until close of business 17 June 2015.|