This is the story of the canoe, that singular American artifact so little changed over time. Featured here are canoes old and new, from birch bark to dugout to carbon fiber; the people who made them; and the adventures they shared. With features of technology, industry, art, and survival, the canoe carries us deep into the natural and cultural history of North America.
Frederic Remington’s drawing of a voyageur struggling with his load illustrates the use of a tumpline across the top of his forehead to help distribute the weight more evenly. ‘Tumpline’ is based on the Algonquian word for line.