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RMCA
Leuvensesteenweg 13
3080 Tervuren - Belgium
Tel. (+32) 02 769 52 11
Fax (+32) 02 769 52 42

 

Treasure of the month

Large pirogue

photo Jo Van de Vijver, RMCA Tervuren ©

Material: Sipo wood (Entandrophragma utile)
Origin: Ubundu, DR Congo
Inventory number: EO.1958.1.1

 

 

 

prauw2.jpg

F. Dubus, 1958,
RMCA Tervuren ©

 

 

 

The large pirogue reached the museum on 3 January 1958.
Used by King Leopold III during his trip to the Congo in 1957, shortly after his abdication, the pirogue could carry 100 rowers. Unlike traditional pirogues, it has two openings that can be used to hold outboard motors.
This impressive pirogue, now one of the museum’s star attractions, was hewn from a single Sipo trunk. Measuring 22.5m in length and more than a metre wide in some places, it weighs nearly 3,500 kg.
Ubundu’s habitants offered the pirogue to King Leopold III after his Congo trip. He in turn bequeathed it to the museum. When the pirogue reached the port of Antwerp on a ship from the Congo, the Belgian army and a crane had to be called in to bring it all the way to Tervuren!


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