The Redwood Canoe

by Charles S. Graves
from Before the White man Came c1934

The redwood canoe as made by the Indians of the lower Klamath is the most artistic of all the caoes used by the different tribes, and is made in this manner:

They select a log of suitable size and split it in half. They then take one half and trim it down, top and bottom un til they get it in proper shape. They then hew out the inside until they have it on an equal thickness. then they cut out the seat, leaving two cleats to brace the feet afainst when rowing or when using the paddle. The paddle is used for rowing, they do not use oars. A hole is made in each corner of the canoe, through which a haxel withe is put around the end of the canoe and drawn very tight. Thius prevents the canoe from splitting should it strike a rock.
In operating the canoe, the Indians believe that it should have a heart, otherwise it would be a dead boat. So he leaves a round knob about three inches across a short distance back from the bow and so long as the heart is there he feels safe, knowing that the canoe is alive.
The canoe pictured here is the property of the author (Charles S. Graves).