Birch Bark Canoe Lecture

Photo by Darel Gabriel Bridges
Thursday, June 14th from 7:00pm – 8:30pm David Moses Bridges, Passamaquoddy, will present a lecture at the Abbe Museum in downtown Bar Harbor, about the entire process of making a birch bark canoe; from the hunt for the perfect birch tree, to the launching of the finished product. He will bring along his own personal 14 foot canoe and tools, to show the details of what goes into making a birch bark canoe. Recently, Bridges led a major project to build a 23 foot long ocean canoe for the Passamaquoddy in Calais. This particular canoe was based on an ocean canoe held in the collections of the Maine State Museum; it is designed to actually have a sail. Bridges will present a slide show of this project as part of the lecture.

Bridges, along with being a renowned birch bark artist of international acclaim, was trained as a boat builder, which he did for several years before learning how to make birch bark canoes.  He learned how to build a birch bark canoe from Steve Cayard, a renowned non-native canoe maker.  Bridge’s grandfather was a canoe maker, but he died before he was able to pass along his knowledge to David.  David inherited his grandfather’s tools, which are what he uses to build his own birchbark canoes and to teach new generations of Wabanaki this highly-specialized craft.

This lecture is free and open to the public.