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Date: 1994
Overall: 800 x 1340 x 320 mm
Medium: Wood, rope, bamboo, palm leaf
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Boat model
Object No: 00030142
Place Manufactured:Lembata
Related Place:Lamalera,

User Terms

    This model of a Tena (Peledang), a traditional whaling boat was hand crafted using traditional materials of tena, bamboo and palm leaves. It was made in the village of Lamalera, Lembata in Eastern Indonesia.
    SignificanceThis model represents an age old form of boat construction used in waters close to Northern Australia. It highlights a stage in the evolution of boatbuilding and demonstrates techniques of the last subsistence whaling practices to survive near Australian waters.
    HistoryThe coastal village of Lamalera, Lembata in Eastern Indonesia was traditionally involved in whale hunting as the island offers little soil for crop cultivation.

    The Tena is a vessel that is particular to the island of Lamalera. They were crewed by 14 people and used for hunting particuarly Sperm whales, giant Manta Rays and other large sea creatures. These vessels are built according to instructions passed down through generations of the community - originally from Sulawesi more than four centuries ago. The Tena is of great importance to the village as it is the basis of their subsistence fishing culture. Its hull is typical in design when compared to other whaling boats in the world and its slim lines and length aim to give it increased hull speed and minimise sinking when towing a whale.

    The Tena consists of a bamboo harpoon platform that projects out from the bow where the harpoonist can dive off the vessel onto a whale and harpoon the animal. The outriggers on the side of the boat protect it from being damaged by whales and manta rays when they are caught.

    The Tena's sails are made from woven palm squares. The mast and rigging can be quickly collapsed while the paddles are used for speed and strength when pursuing the whales.

    Inside the ship model are replicas of objects usually found onboard a Tena, including a water container, paddles, baskets and rope coils.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Tena

    Collection title: Lamalera collection

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