Thursday, April 6, 2017

Historic Photo: Iroquois Decorated Ceremonial Paddle

From the Smithsonian Institution Research Information Service (SIRIS) comes this photo featuring a decorated Iroquois (Mohawk) ceremonial paddle dated circa 1891...

Iroquois Tribe: Portrait of Viroqua's Oldest Brother, Jesse Martin, and his Great Niece
CULTURE: Iroquois Mohawk
DATE: prior to 1891
CITE AS: Photo Lot 24 SPC Ne Iroquois Mohawk NM 24145 00782400, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
DATA SOURCE: National Anthropological Archives

The paddle features a dual tone motif, sometimes seen in other artistic renditions or model samples. This earlier post featuring a painting by James Peachey dated to 1785 shows Iroquoian paddlers on Lake Ontario with similarly themed paddle decoration.....

Southeast view of Cataraqui (Kingston) on Lake Ontario
James Peachey, James Peachey collection
Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1989-221-5, C-001511
1 watercolour / aquarelle : watercolour and pen and ink over pencil on paper
August 1785

Decorated Paddle Closeup

Decorated Paddle Closeup

New York's Metropolitan Museum of the Arts has a bark canoe model with similarly decorated paddles in their collection dated to pre-1845 (original post HERE) although of course the pigment has faded with time.

Canoe Model with Accoutrements
Ralph T. Coe Collection, Gift of Ralph T. Coe Foundation for the Arts, 2011
Accession Number: 2011.154.6a–p

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