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Sunday, 8 December 2013


The word 'canoe' comes from the Carib kenu (dugout), via the Spanish canoa.

The 10,000 year old Pesse canoe, the world's oldest known boat, was found in a Dutch peat bog. It was carved from a pine log, possibly using antlers as tools.

Columbus’ description of the native Indians’ canoes. “In these isles there are a great many canoes, something like rowing boats, of all sizes, and most of them are larger than an eighteen-oared galley. They are not so broad, as they are made of a single plank, but a galley could not keep up with them in rowing, because they go with incredible speed, and with these they row about among all these islands, which are innumerable, and carry on their commerce. I have seen some of these canoes with seventy and eighty men in them, and each had an oar.”

From 1935 to 1986 the Canadian silver dollar depicted a voyageur and an aboriginal paddling a canoe with the Northern Lights in the background.

At the age of 18, Kevin Costner built his own canoe and paddled his way down the rivers that Lewis & Clark followed to the Pacific.

Canoe traditions or stories are important to the identity of Māori (the indigenous peoples of New Zealand). They describe the arrival in New Zealand of Māori ancestors from a place most often called Hawaiki. They also refer to the construction of canoes, voyaging at sea, landing, inland and coastal exploration.

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