Saturday, March 14, 2009

Historic Paddle Illustrations - Champlain

From The voyages and explorations of Samuel de Champlain, 1604-1616 Vol. 2 comes one of the earliest recorded images of a North American paddle I could find. The PDF version (11mb) of his book has a black and white illustration of a native woman (Fig. B) holding onto a child with one hand while grasping chevron decorated paddle with the other.

Champlain's illustration of Native dress

Another illustration I found adds some colour to the original sketch. It is a zoomed versin of Champlain's Carte Geographique de la Nouvelle France (1612). It essential recreates the characters and reproduces the paddle decoration with red and yellow stripes.

Colour version of Champlain's original illustration

This chevron pattern seems to be a common motif as I've seen it in a couple other historic texts. More posts on that to come.

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