Friday, August 27, 2010

Discovered Cree Paddle in the Bush

Mark of thoughtfully sent a pic of a home-made paddle he came across at the end of a portage during a 9 day canoe trip on the Churchill river in northern Saskatchewan. Mark believes the paddle likely belongs to someone in the nearby Cree community of Grandmother's Bay. It was estimated to be about 67" long. The shaft was very rectangular with only the corners rounded off. Looks like it was quickly shaped and then sealed with blue paint on the blade and grip areas.

The blade design is a much more modern looking, fat beavertail design rather than the leaner, square sided Western Cree paddles Adney and Gidmark document in their books. I suppose when people think "canoe paddle" today, this is the shape that most commonly comes to mind.

Many thanks for the photo Mark!

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