A rich visual testament to the practical and cultural power of the dugout canoe, balanced in its description of meaning and method.
Tla-o-qui-aht master canoe maker Joe Martin, in collaboration with former museum curator Alan Hoover, describes the meaning and method behind one of the most vivid and memorable symbols of the Northwest Coast: the dugout canoe. Both art form and technological marvel, the chaputs carries Indigenous cultural knowledge passed down through generations, not only of the practical forestry and woodworking that shape every canoe, but also of the role and responsibilities of the canoe maker.
The text includes both a step-by-step explanation of the canoe-making process from tree selection onward (carefully described and dynamically illustrated) and the personal histories of a number of Joe’s canoes, encompassing their planning, creation, cultural significance and role in the process of reconciliation. The teachings Joe received from his father and the expertise he has gained in a lifetime of canoe-making are recorded here in his own words for generations to come.