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Disney uses our camakau

Ana Madigibuli
Monday, October 27, 2014

A SOON-TO-BE released Disney animated feature about a Polynesian princess called Moana that is set to be released in 2016 features a traditional sailing canoe that is believed to be a Fijian camakau.

Mua Voyage co-ordinator Colin Philp said he had noticed an article on the internet about a new animated Disney movie featuring a traditional Fijian canoe.

"From what I understand, they visited Korova settlement in Laucala Bay and are using one of the canoes as a replica for the animated movie," Mr Philp said.

"There are two ways of looking at the traditional canoe being featured in the Disney production. One would be people being happy that the traditional canoes are being featured.

"But the other way of looking at this is on the intellectual property rights side, that the canoe design or the collaboration of the design is quite valuable.

"It's something that I think they have gone ahead with without any approval from the iTaukei Affairs and the intellectual property owners, being the elders or the canoe builders of Fiji.

"While it is great that Pacific island voyaging culture is being featured, I do hope the owners (canoe builders) will receive appropriate compensation for use of their canoe design since the movie will make billions of dollars and the people from Korova are not being exploited."

The settlers of Korova are originally from Moce, Lau, where some of Fiji's great canoe builders hail from.

Disney could not be reached for comments.

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