Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

Related Objects

Canoe (model)

tlúu “canoe”
Language: Haida

It was interesting to see them spread the canoe… I saw where they heated and they put big rocks into the canoe…Then as they were spreading the canoe they’d put the seats in to brace the sides apart.

—Delores Churchill, 2005

Haida master canoe builders were legendary, called Woodpeckers for the sound of their adzes as they felled and hollowed out the giant cedar trees of Haida Gwaii – the Queen Charlotte Islands of British Columbia. They filled the hollowed logs with water and hot stones to soften the wood, allowing the sides to be spread apart for a wider hull; then they inserted seats and attached separate bow and stern sections. The finished boats were up to 75 feet (23m) long and equipped with cypress wood paddles, cedar bark lines, and stone anchors.

Culture: Haida
Region: Southeast Alaska
Object Category: Boats
Dimensions: Length 87.5cm
Accession Date: n.d.
Source: James G. Swan (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E055821