Traditional canoe building in the Marshall Islands distinguishes three major canoe types based on their size and function, walap, tipnol and korkor . The walap, a large sailing canoe, reaching up to 30m in length and able to carry up to 50 people and food supplies. These canoes served mainly for inter-atoll voyaging. The tipnol, a mid-sized sailing canoe, capable of carrying up to a dozen persons. Built for travel and fishing in the lagoons but also short and medium distance voyaging over open water and fishing in the ocean. The korkor, a small rowing canoe, sometimes equipped with a sail, designed to carry up to three people. The korkor was used solely for fishing and transportation in the protected waters of the lagoons. On calm days it is also used for fishing on the oceanside reefs.
The Marshallese terms used in the story all refer to the sail assembly. The kiju is the mast itself. The repakak is the socket for the boom. A repakpak would be at either side of the canoe and tacking was facilitated by moving the boom from one end of the canoe to the other, thereby keeping the outrigger always at the windward side. The jirukli is the cleat for the tying the sail sheet and the lot is the pulley at the head of the mast head. [back]
Emphasizes the importance of respect for the elders. Jabro obeys his mother, but also his older brother, even though this obedience is, at first glance, a disadvantage to him. [back]
The inner bark of the loo tree (Hibiscus tiliaceus L.) provides a fine, white fiber, which was traditionally used in men¨s fine ėgrass-skirtsî (in), as well as belts and border ornaments of fine mats (nieded). [back]
This tale can be read as a myth to explain why Jabro constellation, which the west calls the Pleiades (Taurus), became the foremost among the stars. In Marshallese navigation it is said they are the most important and best known points of celestial navigation. The following are the western equivalents of the Marshallese star names: ib.Timur; = Antares, .ib.Lomij-drikdrik; = a, b, g, d Sagittae, .ib.Labwal; = z Centauri, .ib.Ar; = Arcturus Bootis, .ib.Mejlep; = a star in the Orion constellation, .ib.Dra-im-kobban; = 1, 2, 3 Centauri, .ib.Titata; = g, z and p Aquarii, .ib.Lok; = b, l, m Pegasi, .ib.Jabe; = a, b, g, d Delphini, and .ib.Jabro;.= h in the Pleiades. According to Marshallese belief, Liktanur (=Capella) is the also the mother of all stars in the sky.