LinneaI was looking at canoes, and canoe shapes, and they look different to me, and, I think, I would like to know what the real difference is. I can't, I can tell there's a bit of a difference, but I don't know, you know, why one would be shaped different than the other, or … So could you tell me something about canoes, and …?

ElderI'm not an expert on canoes, but I, what I've learnt through my work with cultural centers, you know… When I first did research, I found some pictures in a museum that described this sea-going canoe in a picture taken in Harrison Lake. I said, "What's this sea-going canoe doing in Harrison Lake?" So, doing more research, I found that our people traded with the Nootka, another West Coast people, we call them West Coast people, and they're ocean-going canoes, you know, and they were huge. And we call them freight canoes, because we had to move from one village to village, you know, like, we didn't stay in one place all the time. We moved to different villages, and they were used for freight.

The smaller canoes, like in the smaller rivers, you know, they were a different shape, and we call them a shovel-nose canoe, but they call it a spoon canoe also, where the bow was kind of round. It wasn't shaped like the bow of a boat, and that meant that, you know, in the rough rapids, that the river didn't control you. You just skimmed over the top of the rapids.


ElderBut if you had a sharp, sharp canoe, or with a sharp point, the river controlled you. Wherever it went, it took you with it.


ElderSo that was the difference between a river canoe and an ocean-going canoe. And the ocean-going canoes were really high-bowed, you know, where they would, like you get a good boat in the ocean, you know, it had a curved bow, where the water would curl away, it wouldn't land in your canoe. And that was a lot of a difference, and they were talking about the choosing of the prow for one of those canoes. Doing my research, I found, like, they had a head of an animal on there, but it had two ears, you know, and we always wondered what those ears were for. Then I found in further research, the whalers, that's where they rested their harpoons.

LinneaAh! <Laughter> That makes sense!

ElderAnd then they'd follow the, you know, their harpoons were heavy, you know, and you can't hang on to it, you know, you get tired, you know. When you reach a canoe, I mean a whale, you'd be too tired to throw it, you know.


ElderSo you rested it on that prow, you know-

LinneaYeah! Yeah.

Elder-and then, when you caught up to the whale, then you harpooned it, you know.

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