Pirogue does not refer to a specific kind of boat, but is a generic term for small native boats in regions once colonized by France and Spain, particularly dugouts made from a single log. In French West Africa, pirogues refer to handcrafted banana-shaped boats used by traditional fishermen. In Madagascar, it also includes the more elaborate Austronesian lakana outrigger canoe.
Pirogues are usually propelled by paddles that have one blade (as opposed to a kayak paddle, which has two). It can also be punted with a push pole in shallow water. Small sails can also be employed. Outboard motors are increasingly being used in many regions.