Preparing the balsa logs for the Kon-Tiki raft (1947). According to Thor Heyerdahl the Expedition Leader, 12 enormous balsa trees were chopped down in the jungle in the foothills of the Andes mountains in Ecuador. They were floated down the river where the raft was constructed in Peru. According to Heyerdahl, each tree was christened and given the name of a god before it was felled, in accord with Polynesian custom.
Photo: Heyerdahl collection: Stenersens
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