Sunday, January 6, 2019

Oshkosh Museum - Pre 1848 Menominee Paddle

Wisconsin's Oshkosh Public Museum has a permanent exhibit entitled People of the Waters which features many artefacts of the area's First Peoples.

Included in the virtual online collection is a decorated paddle assumed to be Menominee in origin. The short paddle is roughly 47 inches in length with a 4-3/4" blade width. The upper portion of the blade is decorated with etched floral and diamond leaf designs. It is dated to be before 1848 and was discovered at Lake Winnegago, WI.  I was unfortunately denied usage of their images for this site without cost-prohibitive fees so interested readers will need to click and go to the page directly.

Page 339 of Alanson Skinner's Material culture of the Menomini depicts similar decorative etchings on another short Menominee paddle.

The other unique feature about the Oshkosh Museum paddle is the grip which features a triangular cut out with decorative scalloping down the sides. Interestingly, the grip appears to be asymmetrical as one side has a flat side and the other a half round roll grip.

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