Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Historic Paddle Illustration - Samuel Hearne

After watching a recent YouTube set on the latest Ray Mears program, Northern Wilderness, I was interested in learning a bit more about Samuel Hearne. Came across this page with some info and illustrations of his journeys. A sketch documents the watercraft used by the Tlicho (Dogrib) tribe of the area. These bark canoes were built in a sort of kayak style that could portaged on the back like a pack. The illustration also has a small image of an angular shaped paddle (item F).

Northern Indian Canoe documented by Hearne

Couldn't help but think I had seen this paddle design before and after searching through my previous posts, I recognized the shape as one that Henry Schoolcraft documented in his journeys nearly a quarter-of-a-century later in a completely different area (1000s of miles away). This shape was described as a cedar paddle used by the fur trade companies. Might be an interested shape to copy - the straight sides would certainly make for quick and easy carving.

Schoolcraft's documented paddle

By the way, Mike, over at Reflections On The Outdoors Naturally wrote a recent post with all the relevant links to each episode of the Northern Wilderness series (my favourite is Episode 2). Many thanks for organizing these links!

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