Thursday, December 12, 2013

18foot Agwiden Penobscot Birchbark Ocean Canoe

Recently came across this newly uploaded video (52 min) called "Agwiden" showcasing an 18 foot birchbark canoe build. Steve Cayard was the builder invited to the Penobscot Nation to help construct the first bark canoe there in over 60 years. Lots of closeups of the build technique. Learned some new things about bark canoe construction.

Can't seem to embed the video due to restrictions by the film-maker, but here is the direct link for viewing on Vimeo...

One of the neatest things is around the 4 minute mark where Steve climbs up the trunk of the monster birch to harvest the bark. Never saw this standing method of bark harvesting need to haul a ladder into the bush!

What also caught my eye was the elegant paddle used by Chief Barry Dana during the initial launch (around the 48:00 mark). Here is a screen shot...

The grip style is what Adney described as a "Malecite Group" paddle (Fig 65) belonging to a 18 foot Passamaquoddy Ocean Canoe.

Passamaquoddy Ocean Canoe Paddle (Fig 65)

I've carved quite a few paddles with this simple but effective grip style, including one of my earliest cherry paddles from 2008. It is quite comfortable when draping the wrist over the wide palm area. Here are some shots from the old condo balcony "workshop"

Ended up decorating this with a burned image of a Chickadee on a white pine branch...

For all you folks in the south who get to paddle year round...enjoy it! The temperature right now feels like a chilly -22 Celsius with the windchill.

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