Tuesday, September 29, 2020

93 inch Maine Paddle

An Ebay seller recently found a huge paddle at an Maine Estate barn. The paddle is a whopping 93 1/2" with a 3 foot blade. 

93" Maine Paddle

The blade is stamped on both sides with a faded incised mark that could either read as "O. B. CO" but the B could be a P or other rounded letter.

The paddle is consistent with long paddles used for ocean going canoes used by various groups of Wabanaki peoples, most notably the Penobscot or Passamaquoddy peoples. Other examples previously featured on the site are the 77" decorative Penobscot, an 84" mustard yellow painted paddle,  a 90" painted paddle and a similar 96" ochre painted design

Such long paddles were useful for stand up paddling in ocean canoes and were relatively common place by these coastal peoples. 

Margarette Francis
Kingsclear, University of New Brunswick Archives.

Later these huge paddles were adopted by lumbermen using wooden batteaux on spring log drives. Perhaps the O.B. CO. marking refer to an obscure logging company.

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