1700’s Native American birch-bark canoe on display this fall

Screen Shot 2017-09-02 at 11.26.56 AMOne of the oldest-known Native American birch-bark canoes will go on display at a Maine historical society museum in Brunswick, possibly as early as this fall.

Carbon dating by the Pejepscot Historical Society at the museum shows the Wabanaki canoe was likely made in the mid-1700s. Museum Executive Director Larissa Vigue Picard says it could be the oldest birch-bark canoe in existence.

Native Americans have been making these type of canoes for 3,000 years. But Laurie LaBar from the Maine State Museum says only a few of the earliest ones still exist because the bark is so fragile. They are crafted from a single birch-bark tree.

 

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