The ngalawa or ungalawa is a traditional, double-outrigger canoe of the Swahili people living in Zanzibar and the Tanzanian coast.[1] It is usually 5–6 m long and has two outriggers, a centrally-placed mast (often inclining slightly towards the prow) and a single triangular sail. It is used for short distance transport of goods or people, as well as a coastal fishing boat. It can be classified as a variation of another common type of swahili canoe known as mtumbwi.

The name and the outrigger technology was adapted from the outrigger lakana of the Austronesian Malagasy people of Madagascar.[2]

See also


  1. Small Tri Guy. "Jim Brown's Coming Seaclipper 20 trimaran (the "Janganda")". Small Trimarans.
  2. Claude Allibert (2011). "Austronesian migration and the establishment of the Malagasy civilization: contrasted readings in linguistics, archaeology, genetics and cultural anthropology". In Tim Curtis (ed.). Islands as Crossroads: Sustaining Cultural Diversity in Small Island Developing States. UNESCO. p. 45. ISBN 9789231041815.
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