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Tomah Joseph, Passamaquoddy

Discussion in 'Canoe Photo Index' started by beaver, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. beaver

    beaver Birchbark CanoeingBuilder

    Tomah Joseph was born in New Brunswick in 1837 and died seventy-seven years later. Through his art, Tomah Joseph maintained strong connections to Passamaquoddy culture. His work included basket making, building canoes, manufacturing snowshoes, paddles and related objects and guiding sport fisherman and hunters.
    He was well known to the famous Campobello family, the Roosevelts. He built a canoe for Franklin D. Roosevelt that is now in the International Park Reception Center on Campobello Island.
    Passamaquoddy life is the dominant theme of Tomah's art. Most frequently, Tomah Joseph depicted the time when the "People" still had a culture based on hunting & fishing.
    Tomah Joseph's art and life provide a model of cultural survival in which tourist art is a part of native culture, demonstrating continuity rather than disruption of tradition.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    A rabbit smoking a pipe. there must be a story.
     
  3. Treewater

    Treewater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Midewiwan

    That art, yes, a rabbit smoking a pipe, seems representative of Midewiwan , (Grand Medicine Society) pictographs. Where do I get the book?
    Tim
     
  4. David McDaniel

    David McDaniel Canoe Dude

    rabbit smoking pipe

    dave
    I have heard that the rabbit is smoking the pipe because
    he is unafraid, because he knows that he smarter and
    faster that his preditor.
    later Dave
     
  5. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Reminds me of this quote from "Watership Down":

    "...All the world shall be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with a swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed."
     
  6. OP
    OP
    beaver

    beaver Birchbark CanoeingBuilder

    Yes indeed Dave; the rabbit smoking the pipe is a true sign of confidence:cool:
     
  7. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    I just thought it was a Mad River Canoe. A quick search attributes the confident rabbit as either Cree or Micmac legend.
     
  8. Treewater

    Treewater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Book availability

    Bibliofind says the book it out of print. Do you know where I can get one?
    Tim
     
  9. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I found a copy available for $25 via http://used.addall.com/Used/
    Of course, it could be sold by now.

    Additional info;
    [publisher: Brown University] First Edition An exhibition catalog from shows in Rhode Island and Maine in 1993. Stapled softcover of 21 pages with sepia photos of Joseph's work. Good history of Joseph's work who illustrated in daily life and figures central to his people's myths as opposed to others earlier work that was typically of geometric or curvilinear design.As new. [Chesterville, ME, U.S.A.]
     
  10. Treewater

    Treewater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    book

    Thank you. five available. new condition.
    Tim
     
  11. OP
    OP
    beaver

    beaver Birchbark CanoeingBuilder

    The canoe backrests that Tomah made are very unique in the fact that they are beautifully decorated with winter-bark etchings.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Wow. The backrests are amazing... I had no idea that birch bark builders made backrests. The design with the woman and parasol is interesting, and suggests Tomah knew about courting canoes, and ladies reclining against a backrest and needing to be shaded from the sun.

    I love the owl, and his name is wonderful.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    beaver

    beaver Birchbark CanoeingBuilder

    Here are a couple of very old photos with some lovely ladies being courted via the "bark canoe":cool:
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    Now that is really cool!
    :cool::cool: indeed.
     
  15. cwfrench

    cwfrench Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    This is resurrecting an old thread but it is a slow night at work. The old gentleman who has a canoe shop in my village and is letting me use his shop and much of his spare parts has had a summer place on Campobello Island says that he has a paddle made by Chief Tomah that they found in the cabin when they bought it decades ago. He stated he plans on donating it to the Museum up there on his passing. In the meantime, he has been making copies of the unique style for himself and a few other people. I can get a pic of one of his reproductions if someone wanted them.
     
  16. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Yes, I'd like to see that.
     
  17. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Ditto. Any dimensions would be interesting, too!
     
  18. cwfrench

    cwfrench Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    A bit bad timing as just this morning he loaded up the pickup and boat trailer and just left for six weeks to that very same camp. However, I am not done working on my canoe and he is continuing to let me use the shop and all tools etc. One of his copies is there in his office with a few other paddles he makes. He likes the Tomah one the best and uses one himself. He makes a different style for his wife. I will be over there tomorrow and get some pics and some dimensions.
     
  19. Murat V

    Murat V Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Eagerly looking forward to any pics and info on Tomah's paddle. Does it look anything like this one?
    [​IMG]
     
  20. cwfrench

    cwfrench Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Yes, it is very narrow at the end with a flattened diamond shape to it. It was thicker than I had seen for paddles. The top (hand area) did indeed look like that.
     

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