Anishinaabe (Chippewa/Ojibwa) artist
Paddle, before 1826
Lake Superior, North America
L: 44 1/8 in, W: 3 5/8 in, D: 1 in (L: 112.1 cm, W: 9.2 cm, D: 2.5 cm)
Gift of Enos Cutler, 1826., 1826
E3720 - SPECIAL COLLECTION
This carved wooden paddle's small handle and painted decoration along the handle and on the tip of the paddle, indicate it was made for the souvenir trade. This paddle is too small to be functional, and the red and black paint that was applied to its surface as decoration would not stand up to use. The carved curvilinear designs, occurring on objects from the Great Lakes region and the eastern Plains, are sometimes interpreted as a feather motif and may be related to curvilinear quillwork patterns in the same area. A ridge runs down the center of the paddle's blade, bisecting the blade into a red side and a black side.
I've previously posted about this paddle with more pics found HERE and HERE.