Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Another Birch Bark Canoe Source

I was recently made aware of another great reference source for building bark canoes. The Canadian Museum of Civilization has posted an out of print PDF version of the 1974 publication, The Weymontaching Birchbark Canoe by Camil Guy

Turns out the term Weymontaching refers to the specific band of who used to refer to themselves as Attikamek and who the french refered to as "Tetes de Boule". What a coincidence, since the model of canoe I was instinctively attracted to and decided to emulate is from this group of peoples who traditionally inhabited the Upper St. Maurice river in neighbouring Quebec.

The museum has divided up the online book into separate downloadable sections dealing with various aspects of the build. I've downloaded all of these and in my quick overview of the material, it covers all the relevant aspects of building process with some illustrations that provide more specific detail than Adney's overview on all canoe types or Gidmark's book focusing on the Wabanaki style.

For those of you interested. Below is the index with links to the downloadable sections in Adobe (*.pdf) format.
  1. Cover, 1
    Contents, 5
    List of Plates, 6
    List of Figures, 8 (1.7 MB)

  2. Biographical Note, 9
    Avant-propos, 10
    Preface, 11 (1.8 MB)

  3. Part I: Introduction, 13 (4.3 MB)
    The Weymontaching Indians: Geographical and Ethnological Background, 13
    The Shape of the TĂȘtes de Boule Canoe and its Pattern of Distribution, 13
    The One-Man Hunting Canoe, 15

  4. Part II: Materials and Tools, 17 (4.0 MB)
    Materials, 17
    Tools, 19
    Use of Natural Elements, 21

  5. Part III: Building the Canoe, 22 (7.9 MB)
    Assembling the Frame, 22
    Weighting the Frame and the Bark on the Building Bed, 22
    Shaping the Sides, 22
    Positioning the Gunwales, and Trimming and Lashing the Bark, 24
    Piecing-in the Bark Extensions, 26
    Measuring, Shaping and Drying the Ribs, 28
    Finishing the Tips and Strengthening the Frame, 29
    Caulking the Inside, 33
    Inserting the Sheathing and the Ribs, 33
    Caulking the Outside and the Tips, 34

  6. Part IV: The Builder (1.4 MB)

  7. Appendix, 37
    Literature Cited, 38 (537 KB)

  8. Plates 3-34 : Building the Canoe, 40 (4.6 MB)

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