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  • Resource Database / Crafts & Indigenous Skills / Plants, Trees & Shelters / Birchbark, Canoes & Watercraft

    Resources: 23 listings
    Name and Description Nation Location
    A Photo Record of Heritage North Musuem's Birch Bark Canoe: Introduction
      Canada - Western
    In 2001, Heritage North Museum contracted Mike Camp to build a birch bark canoe on the museumís grounds as a public programming activity. The museumís Executive Director Paul Legault and Mike conducted extensive archival, oral, and museological research to ensure that the canoeís design was representative of northern Manitoba. Canoe styles and construction processes vary from tribe to tribe, region to region, and the materials at hand.
    Angelique's Native Arts
    Cree Canada - Western
    Birch Bark Biting - Angelique Merasty Levac creates unique one-of-a-kind birch bark art in the tradition of northern Woodland Cree Women. Many of her originals are displayed in galleries world wide and sought after by discerning private and public art collectors.
    Bark Canoe
    Shawnee US - Northeast
    The term "bark canoe" always seems to conjure up the picture of the picturesque birch bark canoe, but the Shawnee rarely, if ever, used birch, which was not indigenous to the Ohio country. Several different types of trees were used for the making of the standard bark canoe, but the most favored was elm, since it was very flexible and easy to work with.
    More sites on www.geocities.com
    Birch bark Biting
    Cree Canada - Western
    Birch bark bitings are thin layers of birch bark with a design bitten into the bark with the eye tooth. The designs were originally used to create patterns for decorative work applied to traditional leather clothing. Now the art of birch bark biting is being learned by young people interested in reviving what could have become a lost tradition.
    More sites on www.lights.com
    Birch Bark Biting Art
      Canada - Western
    The late Angelique Merasty, of Amisk Lake, Saskatchewan, had been interested in the art of birch bark biting ever since she was six years old. She learned the traditional art form through her mother and the older women in her community. By the time she was 20, Angelique was making her own designs with great success. Since then, her work has been shown in various museums all over Canada and various parts of the world such as the United States, Germany, and Great Britain. This is an example of her delicately crafted work.
    More sites on collections.ic.gc.ca
    Birch Bark Container
      US - Northeast
    From the Ethnology pages at the university of Michigan.
    More sites on www.umma.lsa.umich.edu
    Birch bark container
    Ojibwe US - Northeast
    Photograph of a folded birchbark container in the University of Michigan's collection.
    More sites on www.umma.lsa.umich.edu
    Birchbark Canoes
    A beautiful website put together by Judy Kavanagh: How to build a birchbark canoe, Where to buy a birchbark canoe, Web pages, Books, Videos, Courses on birchbark canoe building and Photo Gallery.
    More sites on jumaka.com
    Canoe and Kayak Making - Information & Resources - Native American & Modern
    Canoes were made by felling large trees, letting them sit for three months or so until they were dry, and the burning the insides out of them. This process had to be carefully watched. Earliest people used dugout canoes. Native men would make a canoe from one tree using no metal edged tools. After felling a great tree, they hollowed it by putting rosin on one side and setting fire to it. The tree was burned in small sections and the resulting coal scraped out with shells. A large canoe could glide quietly along with twenty men.
    Documentary Educational Resources
    Ojibwe US - Central
    This is a link to a film we have titled "Earl's Canoe" and it is a documentary about building a traditional Ojibwe Canoe from a birch tree. We ask that you add a link to this page for Birchwood Canoe building.
    More sites on www.der.org
    Doug's Boat Page
    The Qivitoq is an Inuit-style Sea Kayak, and was heavily based on native design. The original inspiration came from 'Wooden Boat' #104, the Chewonki Kayak. That article and others on Greenland type kayaks were the foundation.
    Earl'sCanoe - Traditional Ojibwe Craft produced for the Smithsonian Center
    Ojibwe US - Northeast
    With the participation of other members of the Ojibwe Nation In this documentary we meet Earl Nyholm, a member of the Ojibwe Nation, as he walks through the woods on Madeleine Island, Wisconsin. He's looking for just the right birch tree to select for the bark which will be used in the making of a traditional Ojibwe canoe. fires.
    More sites on www.der.org
    Haida, Spirits of the Sea
    Haida US - Northwest
    || culture & ocean || fishing || 1st totem || canoes || gwaii haanas || art || food ||
    More sites on www.virtualmuseum.ca
    How To Make a Birch Bark Torch
    Through Wilderness Way by Kevin Finney. There is one peculiarity among these Indians however, that they entrap deer by fire, and shoot from their canoes at night. The Indian hunters drift down the stream towards them; and in his canoe an Indian will make less noise than in his soft moccasins on the snow. In the bow burns a light or a torch, which they make very neatly of birch bark. The strips of such torches are bound together with a quantity of rings. The flame burns down from one ring to the next, and bursts them one after another, while the lower ones keep the torch together.
    More sites on www.wwmag.net
    MacKenzie Art Gallery - Outreach Events - Birchbark biting
    Ojibwe Canada - Eastern
    The bitings are called wigwas mamacenawejegan in Ojibwa, and are also known as "transparencies" or "chews". As a young woman, Merasty remembered when birchbark biting was an activity shared among women during the time in spring and summer when many families met. Frequently, competitions were held to determine who could create the best bitings.
    Native Lifestyle and Crafts - the Canoe Saskatchewan suite
      Canada - Western
    Canoe Saskatchewan Home Page - Birch sugaring / The story of how Josephine Diagneault would tap the birch trees to make a sugar syrup. Hide tanning / Porcupine Quill work / Birch bark boxes / Beading.
    More sites on www.lights.com
    Native Watercraft - through Canadian Museum of Civilization Collection
    Watercraft have long played a vital role in the cultures of most First Peoples in Canada. Indian and Inuit boat builders have produced many varieties of wooden dugout, bark canoe and skin boat, each designed for specific purposes and particular conditions. This selection of Native watercraft from the Canadian Museum of Civilizationís collections highlights the creativity and skill of Indian and Inuit boat builders. Requires registration - but registration is free.
    More sites on www.civilisations.ca
    Nature Bulletins - Birchbark canoes
      US - Northeast
    Long before the white man came, the Indians in Canada and the Great Lakes region had perfected the art of building birchbark canoes. Using nature's products and Stone Age tools, they constructed small craft which have never been surpassed and were indispensable to their way of life. The canoe enabled them to penetrate and live in regions where vast forests were almost trackless. They could navigate any of the innumerable lakes or follow a stream to its source, portage across a divide, and paddle down into another river system.
    More sites on www.newton.dep.anl.gov
    White Birch
      US - Northeast
    The graceful white birch, often planted in yards as an ornamental tree, is native to the Connecticut River Valley. This species grows wild throughout northern North America, and can be found in woods, most easily identified by its pure white bark that peels off the trunk in thin, paper-like layers. Another of this plant's common names, paper birch, and its scientific name, Betula papyrifera, which means paper- bearing birch, reflect the paper-like nature of the tree's outer bark.
    More sites on www.bio.umass.edu
    Wooden Canoe Heritage Association
      US - Northeast
    Short History of Birchbark Canoes
    More sites on www.wcha.org
    Wooden Canoe Heritage Association - Gary Hodgson's Work Boat
      US - Northeast
    A few years ago, after Gary read through Adney and Chapelle's book Bark and Skin Boats of North America, it occcured to him that maybe it was time to try building his own birchbark canoe. So he did.
    More sites on www.wcha.org
    Wooden Canoe Heritage Association - Paddle Making
      US - Northeast
    Notes on the Geoff Burke seminar from the L.L.Bean North American Canoe Symposium '91
    More sites on www.wcha.org
    Wooden Canoe Heritage Association - Picture, Postcards & Photo Gallery
      US - Northeast
    These pictures, photographs, and postcards are provided by WCHA members.
    More sites on www.wcha.org

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