New York's Metropolitan Museum of the Arts has a Maliseet bark canoe model with decorated paddles in their collection dated to pre-1845. The paddles look to have a basic decoration with half the blade coloured in pigment creating a yin/yang sort of effect.
Canoe Model with Accoutrements Ralph T. Coe Collection, Gift of Ralph T. Coe Foundation for the Arts, 2011 Accession Number: 2011.154.6a–p
I'm an avid canoeist and general "outdoorsy type" guy with a bit of an artistic side. Recently started this hobby of making custom canoe paddles after my disappointing experience with most commercial brands. This site documents various styles of single blade canoe paddles I've made or researched as well as other canoe related info I've stumbled across on my internet wanderings. Hope you enjoy your visit.