42 5/8 x 4 5/8 in. (108.3 x 11.7 cm)
First Nations (Canada)
Haida; made in Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada
Medium and Support:
Gift of Mrs. Nathaniel T. Whitcomb
Location: Currently on view
In the traditional repertoire of canoe paddles, there were several styles of blades and handles that were determined by the type of water travel intended and by whether the paddles were made for men, women, or children. This paddle was made for use in a dance; an actual paddle would be longer. Ceremonial paddles are fairly common, and still in use. Images of birds, symbols of great strength and pride, are often used in the decoration of paddles and on other items relating to a journey.
[Gallery label text, 2009]