The Canoe: A Living Tradition / Edition 1

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Overview

The Canoe brings to mind the early exploration of our continent and links us to our vanishing wilderness. In North American culture, the canoe has become more than recreation and more than transportation; it has become a symbol of our collective heart and soul.

The Canoe is unique in its scope and depth, and at long last, brings us a book worthy of the subject and its importance to our sense of our history. It brings together 12 experts in the field who, in collaboration with the world-renowned Canadian Canoe Museum and with the cooperation of museums around the world, have created the definitive book of the canoe past and present.

There has never been anything as comprehensive as this book. It covers the canoe's past among Native peoples and the first European settlers, its development into the recreational craft of today, and the preservation of its ongoing legacy.

The Canoe features:

* expert authors on a range of canoe history, craft and preservation

* support and collaboration of scholars and museums throughout the world

* over 400 beautiful images of canoe craftsmanship and scenery, including rare archival photos

* detailed maps, glossary and index.

About the author:

John Jennings is co-author of The Canoe in Canadian Cultures and a professor at Trent University. With support from the Canadian Canoe Museum, he brought together 12 experts in canoe and kayak scholarship and culture including Eugene Arima, Hallie E. Bond, Steven C. Brown, David Finch, Don Gardner, Gwenyth Hoyle, Fred Johnston, John Jennings, Kenneth R. Lister, Ted Moores, Rick Nash,and James Raffan to create this book.

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Editorial Reviews

Edmonton Journal
Trust me. ... paddler[s] ... would love to add this worthy volume to his or her library.
— Ed Struzik
Woodenboat
The book is a feast of visual imagery and fascinating insights.
— Jerry Stebmok
The Journal of Canadian Wilderness Canoe
A most worthy tribute to that most noble form of transportation.
Booklist
Thoroughly entertaining, beautifully illustrated ... An utterly enchanting trip back in time.
— David Pitt
Canadian Historical Review
Beautifully produced and wonderfully illustrated.
— Garth Wilson
Wall Street Journal
Plenty of info in the book ... including a section on paddling for pleasure in the American Northeast.
— Stuart Ferguson
Montreal Gazette
Lavishly illustrated work of scholarship ... essential reading for the canoe enthusiast, and excellent coffee-table material for the dabbling paddler.
— Doug Sweet
Conservationist
Academic thoroughness, artistic beauty, and a sense of style that belies its simple subject matter.
— Mike Cavanaugh
Choice
Worthy companion to Edwin Tappan Adney and Howard I. Chapelle's The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America.
— G.E. Herrick
The Beaver
This beautifully illustrated volume [is] notable for its insightful essays, its variety, and its historical significance.
— Colin Howell
National Post
Beautiful... informative without being pedantic... succeeds not only as a social history, but also as a business history.
— Bruce Bailey
Kanawa
This book has it all. ... Crammed full of historical, anthropological, archaeological, political and geographical facts, maps and sketches.
— Jennifer Jackson
Américas
Seminal.
— Judy Waytiuk
Paddler
A perfect addition to any flatwater paddler's lifetime library collection ... an incredible history of the canoe.
— Dexter Mahaffey
Conservationist [NY State Dept of Environ Conserva
Academic thoroughness, artistic beauty, and a sense of style that belies its simple subject matter.
— Mike Cavanaugh
Wave Length
This magnificent, large format hardcover book is richly illustrated with fascinating archival and modern photographs, maps, and artwork.
Library Journal
Canoes are an ancient form of transportation that many have relied on for survival through the centuries. Some are only a few feet long and mere inches in width, and others are behemoths capable of carrying nearly two tons of cargo or 45 people. This tribute is a wonderfully rich volume on their history in North America. Working in association with the staff of the 600-vessel collection of the Candian Canoe Museum of Petersborough, Ontario, 12 experts in the field write text that is primarily concerned with Canada but also details the historical canoes of Alaska, Washington, and the other northern states of the United States. Chapters on kayaks, umiaks (walrus or sealskin outercovering), birchbark, dugout, and construction are adeptly written and wonderfully illustrated with over 400 photographs and maps; 19th-century Native Americans appear plying the waters or building their elegant crafts. This book has a hefty price tag but is highly recommended for northern regional collections and wherever canoeing is popular. Jim Thorsen, Weaverville, NC Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Wave Length Magazine
This magnificent, large format hardcover book is richly illustrated with fascinating archival and modern photographs, maps, and artwork.
Wilderness Journal
Paddlers, outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike will appreciate this authoritative, finely produced volume.
Che-mun - The Journal of Canadian Wilderness Canoe
A most worthy tribute to that most noble form of transportation.
Edmonton Journal - Ed Struzik
Trust me. ...The paddler who longs for a float on one of those warm autumn days would love to add this worthy volume to his or her library.
Woodenboat - Jerry Stebmok
The book is a feast of visual imagery and fascinating insights. If a definitive book on the canoe requires balance, accuracy, texture, and beauty, The Canoe, a Living Tradition meets all the criteria and would be my nomination.
Booklist - David Pitt
Thoroughly entertaining, beautifully illustrated ... An utterly enchanting trip back in time.
Conservationist [NY State Dept of Environ Conserva - Mike Cavanaugh
Academic thoroughness, artistic beauty, and a sense of style that belies its simple subject matter ... will leave you in awe.
Canadian Historical Review - Garth Wilson
Beautifully produced and wonderfully illustrated.
Wall Street Journal - Stuart Ferguson
Plenty of info in the book to appeal to U.S. readers, including a section on paddling for pleasure in the American Northeast.
Montreal Gazette - Doug Sweet
A lavishly illustrated work of scholarship ... essential reading for the canoe enthusiast, and excellent coffee-table material for the dabbling paddler.
Choice - G.E. Herrick
Worthy companion to Edwin Tappan Adney and Howard I. Chapelle's The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America.
The Beaver - Colin Howell
This beautifully illustrated volume, notable for its insightful essays, its variety, and its historical significance, would sit comfortably on any coffee table or scholar's shelf. It will surely be on mine!
National Post - Bruce Bailey
Beautiful ... informative without being pedantic... The book succeeds not only as a social history, but also as a business history about canoe manufacturing.
Kanawa - Jennifer Jackson
This book has it all. ... Crammed full of historical, anthropological, archaeological, political and geographical facts, maps and sketches.
Américas - Judy Waytiuk
Seminal.
Paddler - Dexter Mahaffey
A perfect addition to any flatwater paddler's lifetime library collection ... an incredible history of the canoe ... a lush thoughtful tour.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552095096
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/3/2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 10.50 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

John Jennings is co-editor of The Canoe in Canadian Cultures and a professor at Trent University. With support from the Canadian Canoe Museum, he brought together 12 experts in canoe and kayak scholarship and culture including Eugene Arima, Hallie E. Bond, Steven C. Brown, David Finch, Don Gardner, Gwenyth Hoyle, Fred Johnston, John Jennings, Kenneth R. Lister, Ted Moores, Rick Nash, and James Raffan to create this book.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

The Native Craft

BARK CANOES
- The Realm of the Birchbark Canoe - John Jennings
- The Canoe Frontier - John Jennings
- Building Birchbark Canoes - Rick Nash
- Light Craft from the Great Northwest - David Finch and Don Gardner
DUGOUTS
- Vessels of Life: Northwest Coast Dugouts - Steven C. Brown
- Building Dugouts - Eugene Arima
KAYAKS
- The Kayak and the Walrus - Kenneth R. Lister
UMIAKS
- Building Umiaks - Eugene Arima

The Recreational Canoe

- From Forest to Factory: Innovations and Mass Production - Ted Moores
- Paddling for Pleasure in the Northeastern States - Hallie E. Bond
- Fast Paddles and Fast Boats: The Origins of Canoe Racing - C. Fred Johnston

Preserving the History of the Canoe

- The Scholar: Tappan Adney - John Jennings
- The Collector: Kirk Wipper - Gwyneth Hoyle

The Canoe: A Living Tradition - James Raffan

Glossary
Sources and Further Reading
Contributors
Picture Sources
Index

MAPS:
- Native Peoples
- Growing Area of the Birch Tree in North America
- Territory of the Hunter-Gatherer Peoples
- The Fur Trade Frontier
- Peterborough, Ontario and Surrounding Area
- Northeastern United States and Canada

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Preface

Introduction

The canoe is an enduring symbol of wilderness and freedom throughout North America. Hand-made vessels moved people and goods for centuries before Europeans arrived, providing an excellent and practical mode of transportation that developed regionally to serve the needs of the Native peoples. Canoes were used by hunters, travelers, traders and warriors. The canoes of various regions went through many transformations after the Europeans came. In the eighteenth century birchbark canoes grew larger and wider to carry big loads of furs in the exploding fur trade market. Then in 1865 the canoe was made smaller and fitted with decks to become the Rob Roy, a little canoe designed by John MacGregor to carry him on long trips across Europe. In the 1850s the wooden building form was invented, using an overturned dugout as a mold, to create a method of building wooden canoes in quantity to satisfy the growing market of recreational paddlers. Factories sprang up in Peterborough, Ontario, in Maine and in New Brunswick, supplying cedar-strip canoes for surveyors, missionaries, hunters, Mounties and campers. The canoe was made lighter and longer for racing and was sometimes fitted out with a sail. In the latter half of the twentieth century aluminum, Kevlar and fiberglass were used to make canoes and kayaks, and the designs changed once again to accommodate the new materials.

But the North American Native canoe went through many transformations long before Samuel de Champlain decided it was the best way to get around in the immense new continent he was exploring. Across North America different Native groups developed the canoe to suit their needs and environment, making their boats from the materials at hand. Birchbark was used in the wide path across the central and northern half of the continent where the tree grew in huge forests that covered the landscape. The inferior elm bark was awkwardly wrapped around a frame further south where birch trees weren't available. In the cold, unforested regions of the Arctic, driftwood, stunted trees and sealskin were used to build kayaks, with the distinctive characteristic of covered decks. Huge red cedars and gigantic spruce were felled to carve dugouts on the wet and rainy west coast.

The shape and size of Native watercraft varied according to their environment and purpose. The Mi'kmaqs on the east coast built carefully designed long birchbark canoes with inward sloping upper sides (tumblehome) to maneuver through the swells of the Atlantic Ocean on their fishing expeditions. The Algonquin, Montagnais, Cree and Ojibwa crafted beautiful, featherlight birchbark canoes that were easy to portage over the rough terrain between the rivers of the northeastern and central regions of the birchbark belt. Northwest of Hudson Bay, where trees were stunted, the Dogrib people built small, light canoes,
often patching the bark together from birch or spruce trees, because the trees were too small to provide the large sections of bark used in canoe making further south. The Inuit hunted seals in the icy waters of the Arctic in sleek kayaks, boats that were easy to negotiate through the ocean, sturdy enough to carry home heavy loads, but light enough to transport over the ice. Another, lesser-known cousin of the canoe in the north, was the umiak, called the "women's boat": a large, wide boat built on a wooden frame lashed together and covered with sealskin or walrus hide. These were used for whale and big game hunting, war parties and transporting people and their goods over long distances. On the west coast the Native peoples designed their own forms of the ocean-going dugout for whale hunting, fishing and warfare.

When the French arrived in the early seventeenth century, they quickly adapted Native canoes to their own use. Soon huge, thirty-six-foot
Montreal canoes were being paddled by teams of voyageurs across hundreds of miles, laden with beaver pelts to be made into hats and other products, bound for the European markets. With white settlement the canoe began to have a new role as a recreational vessel, and builders experimented with various methods to produce canoes in quantity. Canoe races were held at local regattas and the American Canoe Association, then the Canadian Canoe Association, were founded, and the classification of boats in races became a science. Many refinements and design innovations were developed to make the boats lighter and faster. The international sport of canoe and kayak racing was born.

Anthropologists and historians study canoes to understand the cultures that used them. The materials and building methods and the design of the boats can reveal valuable information about how the Native peoples survived in what was often a very harsh environment. In this book, twelve authors,
each an expert in his or her field, write about different canoes, kayaks and umiaks in North America: how they were built, how they were used and how they affected the history of this continent. The design of these boats is described in detail in terms of their function, with the traditional methods of building the craft carefully explained.

By their very nature, canoes are transitory. Birchbark and animal skins deteriorate quickly when exposed to the elements. For a long time people did not consider them worthy of preserving, but in the twentieth century a movement began to conserve our history as embodied in the canoe. Two of the contributors to that history are Tappan Adney and Kirk Wipper. Tappan Adney was a scholar who single handedly recorded and saved hundreds of canoe designs. Working with decaying specimens, drawings and oral accounts, he built perfect models. Kirk Wipper, who ran a children's camp in central Ontario, began to rescue canoes from across the continent, and over nearly forty years he built up one of the largest collections of canoes in the world. When it outgrew the log building it was housed in at his camp, the Canadian Canoe Museum was created and a permanent home was found for the collection in Peterborough, Ontario.

Many of the vintage canoes from the Canoe Museum grace the pages of this book. Northern birchbarks, Naskapi crooked canoes, Salish dugouts, Greenland kayaks, Peterborough cedar strips and Old Town wood-canvas canoes drift through the chapters, perfect unto themselves, highly functional, energy efficient, lovingly crafted boats that all have a story to tell. Throughout the centuries and its many transformations in North America, the canoe has evolved and endured, a living tradition that continues to serve and delight the people who take it on the water.

Read More Show Less

Introduction

The canoe is an enduring symbol of wilderness and freedom throughout North America. Hand-made vessels moved people and goods for centuries before Europeans arrived, providing an excellent and practical mode of transportation that developed regionally to serve the needs of the Native peoples. Canoes were used by hunters, travelers, traders and warriors. The canoes of various regions went through many transformations after the Europeans came. In the eighteenth century birchbark canoes grew larger and wider to carry big loads of furs in the exploding fur trade market. Then in 1865 the canoe was made smaller and fitted with decks to become the Rob Roy, a little canoe designed by John MacGregor to carry him on long trips across Europe. In the 1850s the wooden building form was invented, using an overturned dugout as a mold, to create a method of building wooden canoes in quantity to satisfy the growing market of recreational paddlers. Factories sprang up in Peterborough, Ontario, in Maine and in New Brunswick, supplying cedar-strip canoes for surveyors, missionaries, hunters, Mounties and campers. The canoe was made lighter and longer for racing and was sometimes fitted out with a sail. In the latter half of the twentieth century aluminum, Kevlar and fiberglass were used to make canoes and kayaks, and the designs changed once again to accommodate the new materials.

But the North American Native canoe went through many transformations long before Samuel de Champlain decided it was the best way to get around in the immense new continent he was exploring. Across North America different Native groups developed the canoe to suit their needs and environment, making their boats from the materials at hand. Birchbark was used in the wide path across the central and northern half of the continent where the tree grew in huge forests that covered the landscape. The inferior elm bark was awkwardly wrapped around a frame further south where birch trees weren't available. In the cold, unforested regions of the Arctic, driftwood, stunted trees and sealskin were used to build kayaks, with the distinctive characteristic of covered decks. Huge red cedars and gigantic spruce were felled to carve dugouts on the wet and rainy west coast.

The shape and size of Native watercraft varied according to their environment and purpose. The Mi'kmaqs on the east coast built carefully designed long birchbark canoes with inward sloping upper sides (tumblehome) to maneuver through the swells of the Atlantic Ocean on their fishing expeditions. The Algonquin, Montagnais, Cree and Ojibwa crafted beautiful, featherlight birchbark canoes that were easy to portage over the rough terrain between the rivers of the northeastern and central regions of the birchbark belt. Northwest of Hudson Bay, where trees were stunted, the Dogrib people built small, light canoes, often patching the bark together from birch or spruce trees, because the trees were too small to provide the large sections of bark used in canoe making further south. The Inuit hunted seals in the icy waters of the Arctic in sleek kayaks, boats that were easy to negotiate through the ocean, sturdy enough to carry home heavy loads, but light enough to transport over the ice. Another, lesser-known cousin of the canoe in the north, was the umiak, called the "women's boat": a large, wide boat built on a wooden frame lashed together and covered with sealskin or walrus hide. These were used for whale and big game hunting, war parties and transporting people and their goods over long distances. On the west coast the Native peoples designed their own forms of the ocean-going dugout for whale hunting, fishing and warfare.

When the French arrived in the early seventeenth century, they quickly adapted Native canoes to their own use. Soon huge, thirty-six-foot Montreal canoes were being paddled by teams of voyageurs across hundreds of miles, laden with beaver pelts to be made into hats and other products, bound for the European markets. With white settlement the canoe began to have a new role as a recreational vessel, and builders experimented with various methods to produce canoes in quantity. Canoe races were held at local regattas and the American Canoe Association, then the Canadian Canoe Association, were founded, and the classification of boats in races became a science. Many refinements and design innovations were developed to make the boats lighter and faster. The international sport of canoe and kayak racing was born.

Anthropologists and historians study canoes to understand the cultures that used them. The materials and building methods and the design of the boats can reveal valuable information about how the Native peoples survived in what was often a very harsh environment. In this book, twelve authors, each an expert in his or her field, write about different canoes, kayaks and umiaks in North America: how they were built, how they were used and how they affected the history of this continent. The design of these boats is described in detail in terms of their function, with the traditional methods of building the craft carefully explained.

By their very nature, canoes are transitory. Birchbark and animal skins deteriorate quickly when exposed to the elements. For a long time people did not consider them worthy of preserving, but in the twentieth century a movement began to conserve our history as embodied in the canoe. Two of the contributors to that history are Tappan Adney and Kirk Wipper. Tappan Adney was a scholar who single handedly recorded and saved hundreds of canoe designs. Working with decaying specimens, drawings and oral accounts, he built perfect models. Kirk Wipper, who ran a children's camp in central Ontario, began to rescue canoes from across the continent, and over nearly forty years he built up one of the largest collections of canoes in the world. When it outgrew the log building it was housed in at his camp, the Canadian Canoe Museum was created and a permanent home was found for the collection in Peterborough, Ontario.

Many of the vintage canoes from the Canoe Museum grace the pages of this book. Northern birchbarks, Naskapi crooked canoes, Salish dugouts, Greenland kayaks, Peterborough cedar strips and Old Town wood-canvas canoes drift through the chapters, perfect unto themselves, highly functional, energy efficient, lovingly crafted boats that all have a story to tell. Throughout the centuries and its many transformations in North America, the canoe has evolved and endured, a living tradition that continues to serve and delight the people who take it on the water.

Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2002

    A great overview!

    I was delighted to see this book. As a builder and restoration specialist, I am fascinated with wooden canoes. This book provides a glimpse into the evolution of this "old" technology. The photo essays of the various types of canoes are very interesting and one of the highlights of this excellent book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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