Friday, October 30, 2020

Rare Santee Sioux (Eastern Dakota) canoe paddle

 A relatively rare paddle find is now being showcased on Cisco's Gallery. The paddle is described as a late 19th Century design attributed to the Santee Sioux (Isáŋyathi or Eastern Dakota) from central Minnesota. 

Santee Sioux Canoe Paddle
Extra-long Santee Sioux canoe paddle from Minnesota. Carved of birch.
PERIOD: 19th Century
ORIGIN: Minnesota
SIZE: 78"L x 4 1/2"W

Though the bulk of the Siouan culture is associated with the American Great Plains, the Eastern Dakota were on the southwestern fringes of "canoe country" before being displaced by Ojibwe bands. As a comparison, see this earlier post which features sketches of Eastern Dakota peoples dated to 1851.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Historic Paddle Illustration: Satchwell - View of Montreal Harbour

Another historic illustration from the Toronto Public Library. On the bottom right corner is a bark canoe being paddled by two native occupants. Note how the paddles are being gripped...

View of the Harbour, Montreal, Quebec
Leney, William Satchwell (1769-1831) after Picture, 1830, English

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

PEM Model Anishinaabe Canoe with Painted Paddles

The Peabody Essex Museum has a model canoe made by an unknown Anishinaabe (Chippewa/Ojibwa) artist. The model and its accompanying figurines and paddles date to 1823-1825 once again featuring the dominant colours of red and black. One paddle features a black blade with the red shaft. The other features a red blade and black paint at the end of the pole-shaped grip.

Anishinaabe (Chippewa/Ojibwa) artist
Model canoe, 1823-1825
Birchbark, wood, paint, pitch
Great Lakes, North America
L: 22 3/4 in, W: 6 in, D: 5 7/8 in (L: 57.8 cm, W: 15.2 cm)
Gift of Colonel Enos Cutler, 1850, 1850
East India Marine Society Collection

This is a birch bark model canoe with red wooden thwarts and gunwales. There is a painted black band beneath the gunwales, and it has pitched and painted seams. On either side of the bow is a red painted design with a black oculus. Two carved and painted figures holding paddles sit inside.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Historic Paddle Photo: 1887 St. John River Flood

A remarkable photo illustrating a flood on the St. John River in April 1887. Ice dams caused the famed waterway to flood the banks, inundating the historic field in front of the soldier's barrarcks known as Officer's Square. The impressive stone structure with the arches is now home to the Fredericton Region Museum, formerly the York Sunbury Museum. It houses a historic Maliseet paddle carved for Col. John Saunders featured in many posts of the years

Details of this flood and the resulting damage can be read at this interesting historical data site, here.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Denmark National Museum - Huron Canoe Model & Paddle

A photo of a canoe model original published in Chroniclers of Indian life by Stephen G. Hyslop showcases a model canoe and accompanying items. According to the photo credits, the model is housed at the Department of Ethnology of the Denmark National Museum. Unfortunately, the caption doesn't contain an accession number and searches on the museum's online database have turned up no hits.

National Museum of Denmark, Dept of Ethnography
Photo Credit: Kit Weiss
Hyslop, Stephen G. Chroniclers of Indian life. Alexandria, Va. : Time-Life Books. p.24

The photo caption cites the model as a "Huron" canoe. The shape and decorative elements of the canoe are nearly identical to the samples in the Smithsonian collected by Col. Thomas Dyneley as well as the example at the Met Museum. These two samples date from 1845 - 1848 and were likely collected from the Quebec city region pointing out that creative Huron/Wendat craftsmen were selling an established model to collectors at the time.

DONOR NAME: Dr. William C. Sturtevant
COLLECTOR: Colonel C. B. Dyneley
OBJECT TYPE: Canoe Model / Paddle Model
USNM NUMBER: E430522-0

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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