Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America

Overview

The birch bark canoes of the North American Indians were among the most advanced watercraft of their age. They could be used to carry heavy loads in shallow streams but were light enough to be hauled long distances over land. Built with Stone Age tools, their design, size, and appearance varied to suit the requirements of their users. Upon arrival in North America, European settlers began using the native-made craft for traveling through the wilderness, and many of today's modern canoes are based on these age-old...
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Overview

The birch bark canoes of the North American Indians were among the most advanced watercraft of their age. They could be used to carry heavy loads in shallow streams but were light enough to be hauled long distances over land. Built with Stone Age tools, their design, size, and appearance varied to suit the requirements of their users. Upon arrival in North America, European settlers began using the native-made craft for traveling through the wilderness, and many of today's modern canoes are based on these age-old designs. Illustrated with black-and-white line drawings, diagrams, and photos, this fascinating guide explores the development of the canoes, their role in history, the materials and tools used to make them, their form and fabrication, regional differences in design and construction, and more. Anyone interested in canoes or the skills of Native Americans will find this book as illuminating as it is important.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A fascinating and richly detailed look at a nearly lost handicraft.”—Fine Woodworking
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781628737929
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 424,852
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Edwin Tappan Adney was an artist, a writer, a photographer and the man credited with saving the art of birch bark canoe construction. He built more than one hundred models of different types, which are now housed at the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia. He is the author of The Klondike Stampede, a book, illustrated with his own photographs, about his experiences in the Yukon during the Gold Rush. He lived in Athens, Ohio.

Howard Chapelle was a curator of maritime history at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. He authored many books and articles on maritime history and marine architecture.

John McPhee is an American writer, and considered by many as one of the pioneers of creative nonfiction. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction for his collection Annals of the Former World, he is the Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, where he currently resides.

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Table of Contents


Foreword   John McPhee
Introduction
Early History     7
Materials and Tools     14
Form and Construction     27
Form     27
Construction     36
Eastern Maritime Region     58
Micmac     58
Malecite     70
St. Francis     88
Beothuk     94
Central Canada     99
Eastern Cree     101
Tetes de Boule     107
Algonkin     113
Ojibway     122
Western Cree     132
Fur-Trade Canoes     135
Northwestern Canada     154
Narrow-Bottom Canoe     155
Kayak-Form Canoe     158
Sturgeon-Nose Canoe     168
Arctic Skin Boats   Howard I. Chapelle     174
The Umiak     181
The Kayak     190
Temporary Craft     212
Bark Canoes     212
Skin Boats     219
Retrospect     221
The Kayak Roll   John D. Heath     223
Bibliography     231
Index     235
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