Monday, March 14, 2016

Huron / Wyandot paddle and canoe

Many thanks again to David G  for pointing me to the public Facebook page of Native American Indians - Old Photos. The site owner has meticulously organized thousands of vintage photos by identifiable tribal affiliation. Some of them include the historic paddle photos that have already  been featured on the site, but there were a few that are new to me.

The following photograph was listed under the Huron/Wyandot folder and is circa 1880. A bark canoe lays along the steps of front porch with decorative pillars.  Two paddles are prominently displayed.

There seems to be some confusion regarding the identity of the two men. The photo caption cannot place the first gentlemen holding the paddle, the man on the right is id'd as Tehonwastasta (aka Philippe Vincent).  A commenter has posted that the men are François-Xavier Picard, Great Chief of the Lorette Hurons from 1870 to 1883 and his son Paul Picard

A zoomed in crop of the men reveals what appears to be some sort of decorative pattern on the pointed blade, though with this low resolution it could just be the wood grain. The overall blade shape and slender grip seem very reminiscent of ceremonial Maliseet style paddles.

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