By Kevin Brownlee, past Curator of Archaeology
On Sunday we started to insert the planking and ribs into the canoe. We started at the end and worked towards the middle. The pairs of ribs are for either end, keeping the shape identical front to back. A finished birch bark canoe can technically be paddled with either end as the stern or bow. We decided to use two different colours of spruce roots at each end to differentiate, the bow we used light spruce roots and the stern we used dark spruce roots. All photos in this blog are the property of Kevin Brownlee (personal collection).
The last rib is in the very middle and the wood was drenched with hot water to help the wood bend. It looks like the rib should break and then it slips into place.