Carving a canoe was a two-year task and proceeded as follows:

  1. The tree would be selected. The carver would explain that it would become a canoe, who would be using it and the name it would hold. Then the tree was felled, removing all the branches, bark and the soft sapwood.
  2. Both ends of the log were cut into a V-shape to form the prow and stern. Then the log was carefully split in half. The log was then turned over and the bottom and outside of the canoe were shaped.
  3. The canoe was left to season over the winter.
  4. In the spring the carver returned to the canoe and hollowed out the interior using an adze, a woodworking tool. He then transported it to the village for steaming. The canoe was filled with water. In a nearby fire, rocks were heated and then dropped into the canoe. As the water heated and the steam rose, the wood became pliable and the canoe was stretched to increase its width.
  5. Next, the canoe was smoothed using dogfish skin or hemlock boughs.
  6. Finally, the interior was painted red and the exterior ornamentation, including the canoe’s name, was added.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
The Canadian Canoe Museum; The Elliott Avedon Museum and Archive of Games; Musée des Abénakis; Museum of Anthropology; St. Boniface Museum; Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian; Woodland Cultural Centre; Sport Canada; 2002 North American Indigenous Games Host Society; North American Indigenous Games Council; Aboriginal Sport Circle

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