By Hilary Stewart
From the powerful cedar of the rainforest got here a wealth of uncooked fabrics important to the early Northwest Coast Indian lifestyle, its artwork and tradition. For hundreds of thousands of years those humans built the instruments and applied sciences to fell the large cedars that grew in great quantity. They used the rot-resistant wooden for swish dugout canoes to commute the coastal waters, titanic post-and-beam homes within which to dwell, steam bent containers for garage, enormous carved poles to claim their lineage and dramatic dance mask to awaken the spirit global. the whole lot of the cedar had a use. The flexible internal bark the. Read more...
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Extra resources for Cedar : Tree of Life to the Northwest Coast Indians.
He might even get three smaller canoes from one log: two from the butt and one from the top. Since the wood could be lighter on the south side of the trunk, it was important to split it in the east-west direction of its growth to avoid a list to the finished craft. After the tree was felled, the canoemaker cut off the top section with the branches and removed the bark and sapwood. Next he made a wide V cut towards each end, split out the wood between and adzed both ends to a point, keeping the butt end for the bow.
Maintenance Care and maintenance of canoes were of utmost importance, since not only the life of the crew depended on them but the very life of the family or household. A chief or wealthy person would retain a top canoemaker to keep his craft in good repair. Damaged or rotten sections of a canoe could often be cut out and replaced with new wood that was sewn on by means of tough cedar withes or spruce root. Cracks or splits in a canoe could be sewn closed, then coated with fresh pitch gum of spruce or fir to make them waterproof.
73 "Return of the Whale Hunters" is the caption of this 1911 postcard. Note the canoe is being beached stern first. Probably Makah. 75 Author's collection or to raid other villages, as well as to visit villages for feasts, potlatches and betrothals. Seasonal travel included moving from winter to summer villages and back again. From early spring to late fall they went by canoe to hunt and harvest whatever food sources were in season: fish, shellfish, waterfowl, seal, sea otters, fruits, potherbs and more, returning with laden craft.