Friday, May 25, 2012

The Everything Canoe

Most of my paddling this month has been in Cadboro Bay, which doesn't make for a lot of variety among posts on the blog. Instead, I'll post a review of a terrific book: Gina 'Waadluxan Tluu, The Everything Canoe.
This is a recent book published by the Haida Gwaii Museum Press in Skidegate. It profiles the recovery of the knowledge of how to make the traditional style of canoes. More than a brief summary, this book details the experiences of several of the carvers involved. Reading it feels like listening to the people talking!
Authors/editors Heather Ramsay and Kwiaahwah Jones complied many short pieces into a collection that connects canoes to every aspect of Haida culture. Profusely illustrated with colour and b&w photographs (including this shot of a traditional canoe abandoned unfinished long ago), this book presents a lot of material with real visual appeal. As a paddler, I was hooked. As a history fan, I found plenty to keep me interested.
If you can't pick up a copy of your own, there's a copy of the book at the Greater Victoria Public Library -- check it out! There's also a great review of the book online at The Tyee and another at The Observer.

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