Maine Museum To Display Native American Canoe From The 1700s
After being locked away in a barn for over 30 years, the oldest-known Native American birch-bark canoe will go on display at a Maine historical society museum. No specific date is set yet, but it could be on display as soon as this fall according to an article from The Associated Press.
The canoe, which had been stored in a barn behind the museum was more than likely made sometime between 1729 and 1789 according to carbon dating tests done by the Pejepscot Historical Society in Brunswick. While in the barn the canoe was exposed to extreme temperatures and humidity, but is in relatively good shape. Laurie LaBar, chief curator of history and decorative arts at the Maine State Museum in Augusta says “Native Americans have been making these canoes for 3,000 years. But only a few of the earliest ones still exist because birch bark is so fragile.”
The historical society’s executive director, Larissa Vigue Picard says the Wabanaki artifact is “priceless” and could be the oldest birch-bark canoe in existence.
The Wabanaki Confederacy is a group of Native American nations who lived primarily in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and parts of Atlantic Canada.
Native Americans have been making these canoes for 3,000 years, but only a few of the earliest ones still exist because birch bark is so fragile, says Laurie LaBar, chief curator of history and decorative arts at the Maine State Museum in Augusta.