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Posts From 2012

Testament to the Past

Archaeology

This past fall I had the fortune to visit the Brockinton Site, located just south of Melita, Manitoba. The site is slowly eroding into the Souris River; each year a little more of the site is lost. We know a good deal about this site thanks to E. Leigh Syms who excavated this site in the late 1960s and early 1970s. While no excavations have occurred for 40 years, Leigh Syms continues to study the collections, revealing new insights. The largest part of the site is a large bison pound and kill site where about 1200 years ago First Nation people had successfully killed hundreds of bison. When we arrived at the site we ...
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Birch Bark Canoe Video

Archaeology

For those of you who have enjoyed my blogs on the creation of the Birch Bark Canoe you will be interested in seeing the video of how it was made. During the intensive 7 days we spent making the canoe Lakeland Public Television documented the construction of the birch bark canoe step by step. Scott Knudson filmed much of the activity and interviewed each of us about the canoe and what it meant to each of us. Scott was one of the producers and edited together a 57:03 minute documentary. The filming was funded under the Minnesota Arts and Culutral Heritage Fund. http://youtu.be/qFSjKRnUzVo  You may also be interested in the full un cut interview ...
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Step 5 Birch Bark Canoe

Archaeology

On day 7 Myra and I awoke to another beautiful day.  We decided that we would complete all the sewing, attaching the gunwale caps and final triming but would not pitch the canoe. Grant had offered to complete this last stage after we returned to Winnipeg.    We all marvelled at the beauty of the canoe now that it has the final shape. It is amazing that in one week we could turn bark and wood into such an amazing watercraft. Clearly there is nothing "Printive" about a birch bark canoe. Grant spoke about how when Europeans arrived to North America they came from a long tradition of boat building. However Europeans ...
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Step 4 Birch Bark Canoe

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).                           ...
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More Pictures of Canoe Building

Archaeology

Assembling the wood ...
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The Birch Bark Canoe Step 3

Archaeology

Over the course of the next 6 days all efforts were on completing the Birch Bark canoe. Each morning I would get up at 6:00 and review my notes and look at the canoe in order to see if they were complete. Once I updated my notes and had coffee and breakfast work would start on the canoe. All photographs from this post are the property of Kevin Brownlee (personal collection). Since Myra and I were both beginners we were given the task of sewing all the seams together with the 500 feet of finished spruce roots. While we worked on that, Grant focused his attention on the wooden ...
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Question about your membership?  Ask us. By Email    membership@manitobamuseum.ca By Phone   204-988-0647 By Mail Membership Department The Manitoba Museum 190 Rupert Avenue Winnipeg, MB   ...
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