Painted Paddles

 

 

 

Search  Inquiry Net

Back ] Home ] Up ] Next ]

Breech Clouts, Breech Cloths
Buffalo Skull
Buttons
Canoe Decoration
Drums and Shields
Indian Graphic Arts
Indian Names for Months
Indian Moccasins
Navajo Loom
Painted Paddles
Peace Pipes
Picture-Writing
Sign Language
Painting the Tepee
Pottery
Teepee Plans 10'
Tweezers
War Bonnets
Willow Bed

Scout Books

Site Contents

By Ernest Thompson Seton

rrm093.jpg (217589 bytes)
Fig. 93

All the painted paddles I ever saw came from the West Coast. So far as I know, only the West Coast Indians and their kin, the Eskimos of Alaska, ever decorated their paddles.

This was quite reasonable in them, for the paddle was as much an essential part of their lives as the bow or spear. But the Ojibway and Iroquois were paddle Indians; and, yet, up to date, I have seen no paddle of their make that was elaborately decorated.

In Fig. 93 the paddles of the upper row are of authentic Indian and Eskimo design as indicated--the Eskimo from Nelson's Eskimos of Bering Strait; the Indian from specimens in my own collection.

The decorations are doubtless symbolic or talismanic; but no explanation is at hand.

The lower row presents adaptations made by myself. In actual practice the Indian designs are too elaborate or complex for our life of hurry, so I found it best to simplify them, maintaining as far as possible the symbols and traditions.

Each paddle is assumed to be, first of all, of yellow varnished wood.

This gives a good as well as a usual background. The designs are mostly in red and black, with occasional green; and in most cases, the color is outlined in black or in white. Red is indicated by upright lines, as in the Moccasin Plate; black by solid black or by cross-hatching; green is diagonal lines from the top down to right. In many cases, the inner ring of the eye is put in with solid white. Usually the two sides of the paddle are nearly alike.

In each case, the color enclosed by an outline should be different from the adjoining background. This is a principle of art that the Indian recognized instinctively.

The colors of the lower six may be varied at the choice of the painter, but beware of any attempt at realism.

The broad-nosed paddles are usually for deep water; the narrow and sharpened paddles are frequently used as pushers in shallow places.

It would be fine if some canoe camp would win the name of the Tribe of the Painted Paddles, by being the first to have every paddle in camp decorated with a typical Indian design.

See Also:

Canoe Decoration

Rhythm of the Redman

 

 

   

 

 


Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Breech Clouts, Breech Cloths ] Buffalo Skull ] Buttons ] Canoe Decoration ] Drums and Shields ] Indian Graphic Arts ] Indian Names for Months ] Indian Moccasins ] Navajo Loom ] [ Painted Paddles ] Peace Pipes ] Picture-Writing ] Sign Language ] Painting the Tepee ] Pottery ] Teepee Plans 10' ] Tweezers ] War Bonnets ] Willow Bed ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Native Skills ] Totem Poles ] Indian Sign Language ] Indian Ceremonies ] Indian Dance ] Indian Songs ] Birch Bark Dances ] Birch Bark Songs ] Birch Bark Plays ] Indian Games for Boys ]

The Inquiry Net Main Topic Links:
 [Outdoor Skills]  [Patrol Method [Old-School]  [Adults [Advancement]  [Ideals]  [Leadership]  [Uniforms]

Search This Site:

Search Amazon.Com:

When you place an order with Amazon.Com using the search box below, a small referral fee is returned to The Inquiry Net to help defer the expense of keeping us online.  Thank you for your consideration!

Search:

Keywords:

Amazon Logo

 

 

Scout Books Trading Post

Dead Bugs, Blow Guns, Sharp Knives, & Snakes:
What More Could A Boy Want?

Old School Scouting:
What to Do, and How to Do It!

To Email me, replace "(at)" below with "@"
Rick(at)Kudu.Net

If you have questions about one of my 2,000 pages here, you must send me the "URL" of the page!
This "URL" is sometimes called the "Address" and it is usually found in a little box near the top of your screen.  Most URLs start with the letters "http://"

The Kudu Net is a backup "mirror" of The Inquiry Net.  

2003, 2011 The Inquiry Net, http://inquiry.net  In addition to any Copyright still held by the original authors, the Scans, Optical Character Recognition, extensive Editing,  and HTML Coding on this Website are the property of the Webmaster.   My work may be used by individuals for non-commercial, non-web-based activities, such as Scouting, research, teaching, and personal use so long as this copyright statement and a URL to my material is included in the text
The purpose of this Website is to provide access  to hard to find, out-of-print documents.  Much of the content has been edited to be of practical use in today's world and is not intended as historical preservation.   I will be happy to provide scans of specific short passages in the original documents for people involved in academic research.  

 

Last modified: July 03, 2013.