Monday, October 16, 2017

Historic Paddle Photo: Fossil Rock - Dalhousie, New Brunswick

From the 1920 publication,  New Brunswick, Canada, available on is this image of a Mi'kmaq bark canoe taken at Fossil Rock, Dalhousie New Brunswick.

 Paddle Closeup

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Historical Paddle Illustration: Peachey - Ruins at Fort Frontenac 1783

Here is another vista painting by British Officer James Peachey (active 1773-1797). This one  entitled, "A View of the Ruins of the Fort at Cataraqui taken in June 1783"

"A View of the Ruins of the Fort at Cataraqui taken in June 1783 by James Peachey" 
 Credits:  Library and Archives Canada C-2031

The canoe in the bottom right features a decorated, dual tone paddle not unlike the paddles in another of Peachey's work from the same area, "Southeast view of Cataraqui on Lake Ontario, 1785" (see link to that post here). Unfortunately the colour version doesn't seem to be available in higher resolution but a black and white version of the scene with a better closeup is below:

Dual Tone Paddle Closeup

Friday, October 6, 2017

Musee Civilisation de Quebec Paddles

The Musee de la Civilisation de Quebec (MCQ) has recently updated their web interface and online  database and they have some wonderful, full-sized paddles in their collection. The database required searching using the French words "pagaie" and "aviron" but revealed some antique designs of various tribal affiliations.

Abenaki Paddle
Mid 19th Century
 162.7 cm x 14.6cm

Huron Wendat
 159.2 cm x 11.7 cm

Lac St. Jean Innu
Inscription painted in dark beige and red:
160.5 cm x 9.0cm

Mid 19th Century
 170.2 cm x 16.7cm 

One unusual design is a square bladed Mi'kmaq paddle with different thickened shaft design at the midpoint, presumably to increase strength.

Square tip Mi'kmaq
Mid 19th Century
 145.0 cm x 13.8 cm

Monday, October 2, 2017

100+ Year Old Mi'kmaq Canoe - Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic

Came across an interesting article regarding a new exhibit at the The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic  in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

At the centre of the new exhibit entitled "First Fishers" is a  15.5 ft birchbark canoe that was constructed by Mi’kmaq builders in the early 1900s.  Constructed from oak, spruce root, birchbark and iron nails, it was made by Steven and Newel Labrador around 1910 at the Mi’kmaq settlement in Paradise for the late Rice Whitman at the cost of $1 per foot.

The canoe was apparently used for hunting and fishing in the backwoods of Nova Scotia until 1947. Passing to his son and then his daughter-in-law, Margaret, the canoe sat untouched in the basement of the Whitman home for decades.  The beautiful looking boat has survived well over the century and appears to have come with two paddles.

1910 Mi'kmaq Forest Hunting Canoe

After doing a bit more research online, I came across the page of Grant Murray Designs who appears to have been the consultant for the exhibit. The canoe has been placed in a humidity controlled case and another paddle is mounted on the wall.

First Fishers Mi'kmaq Canoe
Image Source Credit: Grant Murray Designs

The grip profile of one of the paddles is just visible resting on the thwart of the canoe.

First Fishers Mi'kmaq Canoe
Image Source Credit: Grant Murray Designs

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Historic Paddle Photo: Kingslcear FN Corpus Christi gathering

Fredericton and thereabout by the Fredericton Tourist Association (published 1906)  features many large pictures of New Brunswick in the late 19th / early 20th century. Page 24 showcases a gathering at Kingsclear First Nation. The Maliseet residents are dressed in Ceremonial apparel and a paddle features prominently in the centre.

paddle closeup

Additional photos dated to the same period from Kingsclear FN can be found in these earlier posts here and here.

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