Monday, January 15, 2018

Historic Paddle Photo: Naskapi (Innu) Paddlers - 1928

As mentioned in this previous post, the Field Museum has some paddles collected during the Rawson-MacMillan Subarctic Expeditions of 1927 and 1928. Acquired by Ethnographer William Duncan Strong, the paddles and other artifacts of material culture are thoroughly discussed in James VanStone's publication, Material culture of the Davis Inlet and Barren Ground Naskapi: The William Duncan Strong Collection

Recently, The Field Museum posted all 975 photos from these two expeditions onto a Flickr album. One particular photo taken at Davis Inlet, Labrador, offers a rare glimpse of the traditional Innu paddling method.

Davis Inlet, Labrador
Taken August 23, 1928

The bow paddler is using a typical high aspect ratio (i.e. long and narrow) paddle consistent with those in usage in the area. His grip hand is holding the small bulbous grip laterally in the indigenous paddling technique described in this post here

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