Friday, January 20, 2023

Historic Photo: Wisconsin Ojibwa canoe and paddle

A historic canoe photo appeared in the rather eclectic exhibition H.H. Bennett, Lena Henke and Cars which ran at studio 1857, in Oslo, Norway back in 2012. It featured some framed photos taken by Henry Hamilton Bennett (1843 - 1908), famous for his captures of the unique topographical features of the Wisconsin Dells. 

 The original is kept in the Wisconsin Historical Society and includes the following description and details:

"Two men standing on the beach at Sugar Bowl, one carrying a canoe and paddle, the other holding a basket."
Image ID:7564
Bennett, H. H. (Henry Hamilton), 1843-1908
Lower Dells, Town of Delton, Sauk County.

The pose capturing a portage showcases a clear view of the unique stem-piece design typical of the Ojibwa of this region as well as a clear view of the paddle blade. 

The narrow blade ends abruptly at the lower shaft with two notched ends or "hard" shoulders. A similarly styled paddle (circa 1890) was featured earlier on the site. 

Ojibwa Indian Canoe Paddle A finely carved maple paddle with an early light green painted surface. It features a rolled-top handle with faceted details, and a stepped transition from blade to shaft. 
 Circa 1890
 4.5" w, 67" h 
Original Link

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