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Sunday, June 28, 2015

War Canoes

Just like we have a variety of motor vehicles to meet various needs, First Nations people who lived on our coast had different canoes for different purposes. We are probably more used to imagining the very large sea-going canoes that are often pictured rather than the slender, shallow draught dugouts pictured here. These are war canoes and were designed to carry warriors on raiding expeditions along the coast. The canoes used in ferrying families and households from one campsite to another were much larger. The war canoe race above took place on Saturday and was the first such event here for more than 100 years. The canoes are here pictured as they swept past Laurel Point in the Inner Harbour on the way to the race's end at Ship Point.


JoJo said...

Is that open to everyone or just something the Songhees do?

Benjamin Madison said...

Hi JoJo,
I think there were a number of local First Nations represented in the war canoe race and I suspect they would welcome competitors from other groups if this becomes an annual event. Though you can't see it from the photo, one outstanding feature of this event was the participation of First Nations youth. The average age of paddlers must have been in the low twenties - lots of teenagers and even younger kids and there seemed to be a lot of enthusiasm.

William Kendall said...

There are a couple of First Nations canoes on display in the Museum of History- one of this size and one that's much larger.