Grand Hall tour

The Haida canoe

Canoes were the main means of transporting goods and people up and down the coast. Their shape and size varied from one region to the next, each having a unique and distinctive design.

Haida canoe - S2004-1073 - CD2004-1542-064

This 16.5-metre canoe could take 5 tonnes of cargo and needed a crew of 10 paddlers and a steersman. It was equipped with three masts and sails that helped increase its speed when the wind was blowing. It is made from a single, large red-cedar log that was skilfully dug out, steamed, shaped, carved and painted to produce an elegant, efficient, seaworthy craft.

Alfred and Robert Davidson built the canoe near Masset in 1908. It was painted by Charles Edenshaw, the renowned Haida artist (1839-1924). At the bow are two mythical Sea Wolves -- part Wolf, part Killer Whale.

... more information on Pacific Coast dugout canoes