Friday, April 25, 2014

Peabody Museum Bark Canoe Exhibit

The Peabody Museum of Archeaology & Ethnology has a new exhibit featuring birchbark canoes and paddles. The exhibit entitled, The Legacy of Penobscot Canoes: A View from the River runs through April 30, 2016.

Their facebook page has some great photos of an interesting bark canoe purchased from Penobscot builder Francis Sebattis in 1912. It has the wonderful, graceful lines of canoes from this region and looks amazingly well preserved.  The single seat is also an interesting addition and looks to be woven with more natural material.

Penobscot / Eastern Abenaki Birchbark Canoe
Peabody Number: 29-33-10/98432

A search on the Peabody's online collections database reveals the following info:

 Canoe has a split-wood rush seat at one end (presumably making this end the stern) and 4 thwarts. The thwarts are mortised and tennoned and lashed with split root and nailed to the gunwales. The first thwart (from the bow) is parallel in form while the remaining three thwarts flare out at their ends. Inwales and outwales are secured with screws (and possibly nails) and split root lashing at regular intervals; the screw holes are filled with putty. (4 screw points are exposed iat the inwales, two screw points at the bow and two at the stern.) Wooden pegs are used to secure the gunwale caps to the rest of the gunwale assembly. There is a slot-head screw in the port side gunwale cap amidships.

Seats in bark canoes are rare in the first place and this is the first time I've seen a seat woven with such material. Might be an interesting project to replicate with left over strips of birchbark from a canoe build.

Also in their display is the green bladed decorated Penobscot paddle I've posted on many times before, including this recent post with photos courtesy of Bob Holtzman of Indigenous Boats. The museum's facebook feed has a small but updated photo of the blade's decoration  pattern.

I'm hoping to carve and make another one of these paddles out of Sassafras this summer, but life keeps getting busier and busier . This year's extremely harsh winter wreaked havoc to our home and we have some major repairs to contend with before my paddle making hobby can resume again.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

71-1/2" Early Maine Paddle

Been too long since my last post. Hope folks are getting excited about the upcoming paddling season. Here's an interesting paddle from this Ebay seller. The paddle is an aged 71-1/2 incher found in  Maine. What caught my attention was the quite pronounced circular roll grip - would be nice to experiment with and try out.

The seller's description:

"Early canoe paddle measuring 71-1/2" long & 6-1/4" wide. It weighs 2 pounds 10 oz. This was found in Maine but is not signed.
In good condition overall. Some of the darker lines seen on the paddle have a very slight ding."

Newer Posts Older Posts Home Page