Courtesy of Aaron York, Wobanaki Custom Canoe Builder and Researcher of Traditional Birchbark Canoes

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Birchbark Canoe

Crafted by a Wobanaki builder of traditional birchbark canoes, this vessel is based on a canoe form used in the late 1700s by the Wobanakiak. Canoes like this are believed to have been made and used in the Connecticut River Valley as well as in what is now Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and southern Québec. A unique, early feature of this canoe type is a "keel strake" or false keel under the edge-to-edge planking. This helped the canoe track and paddle exceptionally well. The decorative scroll etchwork on this example is the maker's original design, which is in keeping with traditional motifs. The center scroll design represents a canoe and its reflection in the water. The long intertwining scrollwork signifies life moving like a river.

Date: modern reproduction 
Topic: Tools 
Materials: birchbark
Dimensions: L: 15 ft. (4.57 meters), W: 31 in. (78.7 cm)  
Accession #: na

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