The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America (Bulletin (United States National Museum), 230.)
The bark canoes of the North American Indians, particularly those of birchbark, were among the most highly developed manually propelled primitive watercraft. They could be used to carry heavy loads in shallow streams but were light enough to be hauled long distances over land. Built with Stone Age tools from available materials, their design, size, and appearance were varied to suit the many requirements of their users. Upon arrival in North America, European settlers began using the native-made craft for traveling through the wilderness. Even today, canoes are based on these ancient designs. This fascinating guide combines historical background with instructions for constructing one. Author Edwin Tappan Adney, born in 1868, devoted his life to studying canoes and was practically the sole scholar in his field. His papers and research have been assembled by a curator at the Smithsonian Institution, and illustrated with black-and-white line drawings, diagrams, and photos.
Included here are measurements, detailed drawings, construction methods, and models. The book covers canoes from Newfoundland to the Pacific Ocean, as well as umiaks and kayaks from the Arctic.
The Classic Work on Bark and Skin Craft
By "canoe112" - December 20, 2000
All modern students of bark and skin boats begin with this book. The intial work on the native watercraft of North America.While the book does not cover the watercraft of all North American First Nations, it does provide a broad range of information on craft from many Nations across the continent. This book is highy recommended to anyone interested in the history of canoes or kayaks as developed on the North American continent.
Build your own.
By Fire Boy - January 25, 2011
This book provided me the ability to build a number of the craft within its pages. This is the stuff that dreams are made of. If you are thinking of building a small wooden, canvas, or bark boat, these measured drawings will give you ample information to scale off, loft, and build one of the included designs or, alternatively, to design one of your own boats drawing from the information that has been faithfully passed down by Adney and Chappelle. A stunning compilation of indigenous wisdom.
Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America
By A. Breiby - March 25, 2010
Bark Canoes and Skin Boats, by Edwin Tappan Adney and Howard Chapelle is THE classic on the subject. I first got a hardbound copy through the US Govt Printing Office back in 1974. The recent copy purchased through Amazon was a gift for a friend. Adney became interested in bark canoes back in the late 19th century when folks were still using them on a daily basis, so he was able to document them and subsequently make scale models of many of them. Chapelle was the curator of transportation at the Smithsonian Museum, and undoubtedly the best authority on traditional American boat types at the time of the book's publishing for both Euro-American and Native American development. If it weren't for him there is no doubt that knowledge of most of these craft would have died out. The skin boats contained in the volume have been recorded and measured from specimens in the Smithsonian and other museums, as well as from boats measured in the field. In addition to measured plans, there is... read more