The hot rocks are placed in the water in the canoe creating steam. This is done until the sides of the hull begin to soften. In this state, the sides of the hull are pulled out and shaped to achieve the classic Haida canoe form. This is a critical stage, as too little steam will not permit proper spreading of the hull, while too much steaming will cause the side of the canoe to fall open. Spreaders are placed between the gunwales and the hull is allowed to dry and harden into its final shape.

Photo: courtesy of Reg Davidson.

© Reg Davidson

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