Monday, November 10, 2008

Another Online Bark Canoe Book

Found another birchbark canoe source posted on the web at Bob Bear's Paddling Club. This one is an out-of-print Bulletin of the Public Museum of the City of Milwaukee (1950) entitled The Building of a Chippewa Indian Birch-Bark Canoe by Robert E. Ritzenthaler. I've seen it referenced in other books before but could never get my hands on it. The book documents the construction process of Bob Pine from Lac du Flambeau Reservation in Northern Wisconsin building a 13ft, 4" Chippewa (Ojibwe) style canoe.

Though not as detailed as the The Weymontaching Birchbark Canoe by Camil Guy that I posted about earlier, this book is still a fantastic read which documents some of the challenges faced by this builder. Particularly funny was how he couldn't collect enough gum to seal the canoe so he "stole it" from trees tapped by his "best friend". He then would quickly hide the gum if his friend happened by so as not to ruin their friendship. Not full of too many sketches or diagrams but there are plenty of black & white photos documenting the standard construction process.

Sample photos from the book including Bob Pine sealing the canoe with "stolen gum" taken from his best friend's trees

Thanks to Bob Bob Bear's Paddling Club for taking the time to document and post this on his site.


beaversss said...

Hey there Murat,,
I have actually seen this canoe at the Milwaukee Public Museum. They also have a silent/colored film of the building process. Very nicely done.

The canoe was built only 12 miles West of my home here in Northern Wisconsin in 1947. Cool eh.

Love the baby & paddle.

Ferdy Goode

Murat said...

Very cool. Thanks for that additional info. If I every make it out your way, I'll be sure to check it out. Seems like there's always some bark canoe action happening in your neck of the woods.


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