Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hudson Museum Paddles - Thanks Bob Holtzman

Bob Holtzman runs a great blog on indigenous watercraft from around the world which includes some discussion on birchbark canoes. A recent post outlines some fantastic museum paddles from the Hudson Museum in Maine.

I especially liked the local paddles on display, one of which Bob mentions has metal strips to repair a serious split. The bottom two are long stern paddles which seem like early incarnations of the modern Northwoods paddles documented by the Conovers

Paddles from Maine

In the photo below, I'm really drawn to the grip style of the paddle on the left, a segmented grip that is reminiscient of my own version that I'm working on. This one has much more fluid lines however, especially with the additional indented edges. Had I not already thinned out my grip and balanced the paddle the way I like it, I think I would've preferred this style. Oh well, there's always the next paddle.

Segmented grip

Also on display is a decorated paddle from the Amazon with an interesting tip, perhaps to get a grip on shallow, muddy waterways when poling upriver.

Its design is similar to another Amazonian paddle I posted on earlier from a now completed online auction.

Amazonian Decorated Canoe Paddle, 60.5"
From the Estate of John Auraden of Hamilton & Fairhaven, Ohio.

Many thanks to Bob for taking these pics and giving us an inside glimpse of what the museum has to offer. If I ever make it out to Maine, I think I'll be checking it out in person.

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