Posts filed under ‘storytelling’
As mentioned in Part 1 of Canadian Canoe Museum, there’s so much to see and learn here that one could spend most of a day here.
This sign says, in part,
Missionaries, beginning with the Jesuits in the 1600s, regularly used canoes to reach the remote parts of Canada… they cheerfully accepted the rigours of life on the trail.
Here’s a closed-in canoe, somewhat like a kayak in appearance. See the wooden seat, like a lawn chair, and the attached oar. Perhaps only for leisure and not a working canoe.
A close-up of the music machine. I think the courting couple would want to go out on calm waters, otherwise the record player and cushions could get wet. Imagine the courting couple out on the water of a calm lake and they’re listening to their favourite music as they paddle.
In another canoe, a similar type of record player, without the amplifier. We had records like this in a black box gramophone.
Look at this sleek canoe with the cushioned seat. Pretty classy.
There we are at the end of the canoe museum. I stopped at the gift shop to look around. I came home with two books, one to read to my granddaughters and one about storytelling. Love the children’s picture book story, One Dog Canoe, by Mary Casanova, illustrated by Ard Hoyt. I also discovered that one story in the book, Mugged by a Moose, ed. Matt Jackson, was written by a Waterloo Region author, Leslie Bamford, whom I happen to know.
Back to our holidays in the Kawarthas in July.
We read about the museum in the Kawartha Visitor 2014 Summer Vacation Guide and right away it grabbed my interest—a museum about canoes. We weren’t about to find one of those in our community of southwestern Ontario. Curious, I persuaded my husband that we should go there the day after our trip to Lang Pioneer Village. So we set out for Peterborough to find this place and were delighted with the offerings there.
Who would have thought there were so many kinds of canoes? I knew that native Canadians probably started the canoe making, but a canoe with a sail? Courting canoes with a phonograph on board?
A woman met us at the door and told us a bit about the museum and where to begin our tour. She also told us there was a student questionnaire that if we chose to answer, we would get a discount on anything we bought in the shop. We’d wait and see how our time worked out.
Thus we began with the upper level and the whale hunters of Canada’s Pacific Coast.
Here’s a bit of history on the Haida and their life, including the canoes. They weren’t altogether friendly folks, when they raid and take prisoners.
This map and chart shows a few of the shapes of their bow profiles. The sign says, in part:
… their most distinguishing characteristics are bow profiles. … The condition of the water, whether flowing, tranquil, wave tossed or turbulent is reflected in the design of the bow that sets the canoes apart.
I found this intriguing and had never thought so much about its shape. Some of their information came from Cedar by Hilary Stewart, 1984, Douglas and McIntyre, used by permission. If a person was inclined to learn more, this would be a good source to consult.
We watched a video of native Canadians knitting the Cowichan sweater on Kuyper Island and learned that not all the sweaters sold in stores are hand knit. The women do it to keep up the tradition and as part of a way of life, but they find it an increasingly unprofitable venture as stores bring in machine-made sweaters and often the prices they are paid do not afford them a livelihood with the cost of yarn. Rather a dilemma for them.
The men used canoes to gather supplies they couldn’t get by land.
“The making of canoes is an ancient art,” as one of the signs read, but the building continues today. Skilled model builders can be found in the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association. The museum’s desire is to recognize the builders and continuing the tradition.
Jen in the Presentation Area, where they hold workshops. She’s putting kits together for a workshop and she took time to explain some of the programs they offer. They teach classes to children too and how to preserve and add a collection number. One project was a shadow box. Thanks, Jen.
And one loaded with supplies for a journey. Where would the canoeist sit to paddle? Might they have just loaded it to show us what might be carried on a journey? Would a canoe be towed like a wagon?
Every so often there was a play area for children to act out the role of a trader or canoeist. This was a puppet theatre and it had puppets stacked on a pole that children could use.
As I looked at the sign behind it, a museum staff member said to me, “Farley Mowatt.”
I said, ” Ah, but that was the boat that wouldn’t float.”
He grinned, not expecting this answer.
By the way, I do recommend this place for families.
And here I’ll stop for the day. To be continued.
Photos by L. and C. Wilker. If you wish to use a photo, please ask.