Sunday, October 2, 2011

Stolen Dugout Returned 205 Years Later

In 1806, the U.S. Corps of Discovery -- also known as the Lewis & Clark expedition -- took a dugout canoe that didn't belong to it from the Clatsop people in Washington state, at the mouth of the Columbia River. Now, better late than never, descendants of William Clark have presented the Chinook Indian Nation (to which the Clatsop tribe belongs) with a so-called "replica" in order to make amends. While it's doubtful that the stolen canoe was documented closely enough to call its replacement a replica, the gesture is certainly a good one, and the Chinook people accepted it in an elaborate ceremony. Here is a straight news story with further details, and here is a bit of cultural commentary. Aside from the photo above, I haven't found any details about the boat itself or its builder.

Indigenous Boats will go dark -- or at least quite dim -- for the next month, as I have a large project -- unfortunately not boat-related -- to complete on tight deadline. We'll be back with more posts about small craft outside the Western tradition as soon as the decks are cleared. Thanks for your patience.


  1. Bob,
    This canoe was built by my friend John McCallum here in Oregon:


  2. Thanks for this input Michael. The slideshow at the bottom of the linked page gives several good shots of the boat under construction. As will be seen, it's glued plywood doing a good job replicating the appearance of a Northwest dugout canoe. Lots of interesting text accompanying.