Sunday, October 26, 2008

Elm Bark Canoe

Ancient Pathways Cultural Resource Group has some great photos & info about various native crafts including an interesting album documenting construction of an Elm Bark Canoe.

These canoes, according to Adney, tended to be more fragile, temporary craft used by Iroquois tribes of the northern U.S. before their incursion into more northern lands where birchbark canoes were predominant. There are some similarities with birchbark canoe construction, although one major difference is the use of crimping with elm bark in order to maintain the hull shape. This is apparently a necessity since elm bark cannot be cut with longitudinal gores as birch bark can. This boat also needed fewer ribs, no sheathing and has functional, but more crudely formed lashings on the square-edged end pieces. The builders, Kevin Finney and Erik Vosteen, did a great job with it so thank you to them for posting some of this native knowledge.

I've posted a few pics below - the full album has many more shots.

Bark Foldup

The completed end lashing

Installing Ribs

The completed elm bark canoe

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