Dugout canoe takes to the water | Home & Garden
The launch of the dugout canoe over the weekend was a success according to organizers with Angel Mounds, Canoe Evansville and the Great Lakes Lifeway Institute. Now, they’d love to get another tree to do it again next year.
The event took place on the west side, behind a private residence but was open to the public.
Made from a single Tulip poplar log, the canoe created this year is only the second dugout made in Angel Mounds’ organizational history and is likely one of only a few floatable dugouts in the entire state.
“(The) most sturdy canoe any of us had ever paddled and shockingly maneuverable,” reported Haley Tallman of Angel Mounds.
The canoe was made from a donated log at Angel Mounds’ Native American Days. Erik Vosteen of the Lifeways Institute led project with the help of Jonathan Maas, who made the dugout his Eagle Scout project.
One of the most widespread and longest lasting technologies prior to European colonization, dugout canoes were once used for travel and transportation of goods and access to resources across the Eastern Woodlands. Dugouts from this region are typically made from Tulip trees, and Angel Mounds is seeking potential sponsors or donors to acquire a log for next year.
Says Vosteen "Our hope is to make this a series. Because this was not a perfect log, we had to use chainsaws for a certain part of the process, but our hope is to find a log suitable for building the boat with hand tools and stone axes next year."
After the launch, the dugout was sunk and stored under water. Archaeological recovery of dugouts supports this as a traditional means of storage that helps preserve the boat’s longevity.
- Related story: Dugout canoe to launch Saturday
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