Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge


Canoe (model)

tlúu “canoe”
Language: Haida

They said it was a sign of wealth when you had a Haida canoe.

—Clarence Jackson, 2005

The Haida were famous for the red cedar canoes they traded to other Native peoples of southeastern Alaska and the northwest Canada, and Haida master builders were honored for their skill. Seven styles of canoe are historically known, including this type used for fishing. The bow is painted with a bird crest design. Builders cut down large cedar trees in spring and rough-shaped the logs in the forest, then towed the half-finished boats to the village for the final adze work. They boiled water inside to soften the hull, spread apart the sides, and inserted wooden thwarts used as seats.

Culture: Haida
Region: Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada
Object Category: Boats
Dimensions: Length 127cm
Accession Date: 1883
Source: James G. Swan (donor)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E072685