Notes from the field: Canoe Building Worshop

Well today we took advantage of some of the last days of beautiful summery/autumny weather during out canoe building master class led by David Payne, a curator with the Australian National Maritime Museum. David is over with us from Sydney where he has been running canoe building workshops. He has an amazing self-taught knowledge of building bark canoes and is sharing it with us this week. We started off with a large pile of bark collected by Keryn Walshe, curator of the SA Museum earlier this week (thanks Keryn!). Although the pieces weren’t large enough to build a full scale canoe, we certainly made use of them to make several smaller scale models. David’s lecture about Indigenous canoes was intriguing and raised more questions than it gave us answers. Not to say he doesn’t know a whole heap about canoes in Australia, but as he points out, there is so much to be learnt. David showed us a  great map he’s been working on which demonstrates the distribution of types of canoes around Australia and pointed out places where students might contribute with thesis projects! He also discussed the materials and types of canoes that we’d be constructing in the master class. We were pretty excited to get our hands dirty and start constructing. So here are a few photos of our first day.

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