Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cree Paddles

One of the more unique paddle designs described in Adney & Chappelle's Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America is that of the Cree. These paddles tend to have long, blades with a slight outward flare and smaller, bobble grip. Adney mention's that the Cree were the only tribe which used distinct paddles for males & females, often decorating them with simple lines, crosses, or dots. A quick search of the Canadian Museum of Civilization revealed a few of these paddles in their collection.

Adney's Plans; 3 Cree Paddles from the Canadian Museum of Civilization

While checking out the forums on FrontierFolk.net, I came across a post debating types of sealants on historic paddles (now deleted). One poster put up the following pics of a canoe displayed in a store and it looks to have a Cree paddle with blue & red paint decorated with white dots. Different decoration pattern than what Adney documented but there's no mistaking the unique paddle shape

Another decorated Cree paddle

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