Thursday, May 1, 2014

More Photos of the "Green" Peabody Paddle

Thanks to WCHA members Rob Stevens and John Fitzgerald, I received some more photos of the Peabody Museum's current exhibit, The Legacy of Penobscot Canoes: A View from the River. In particular, John was able to get some very clear shots of the famed green bladed paddle I've gushed about over the years...

Photo Courtesy of John Fitzgerald

As mentioned previously, this paddle was documented by Adney and Chappelle and features a unique style grip. It is a long and tapered grip style that has been carved out in the center, giving the grip face a distinct concave face. You can just make this out on the top right corner of Fig 72 in Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America

Fig 72: Adney and Chappelle
Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America

Here is closeup of the grip that John F was able to obtain. It shows a very elegantly carved inner face of the grip and a small etched drip ring at the base.

Photo Courtesy of John Fitzgerald

Back in '08, I also experimented with a concave grip style used on a different bladed paddle. My carving out with a Mora spoon knife was certainly less elegant than this paddle, but I found the grip to be quite comfortable when paddling with the "Northwoods" style parallel hand grip. In my case, the base of the palm fit nicely in the carved out groove and that meant a more relaxed and natural hand position while paddling. After finally seeing a decent photo of this carved grip, I'm intrigued to experiment with this grip style again.

Thanks again to Rob & John for sending the photos my way. And for those of you lucky to be in the Peabody Museum's area, be sure to check out the exhibit which features some gorgeous displays of Penobscot canoe culture.

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