Minnehaha Feeding Birds
Frances Ann Hopkins
A red bladed paddle is resting across the top of the canoe and seems very similar to the brightly colored paddles of the Voyageurs to which she was much more acquainted. The scale and dimensions of the paddle also seem quite narrow. I wonder if she simply used her knowledge of actual paddles around her in this conjured scene or if she truly came across natives using painted paddles in her journeys.
For a similar theme, check out David Wright's painting "Quiet Reflections" featured a while back which also shows a red bladed paddle being used by an Indian in a bark canoe.