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Ainu Boats

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:34 pm
by john
All -

Was in San Francisco a week or so ago, and as is my wont poked my head into various used bookstores along the way.

Found a paperbound titled "Les Ainous", which appears to be a very well done catalogue of a major Ainu exhibit in France - and other parts of Europe? - apparently in the mid eighties.

Cut to the chase.

On page 75 there is a picture and description of a model of a traditional Ainu seagoing boat, collected in 1899. My French is lousy, but....

The boat is planked. A three plank plus keel construction, planks fastened together with twisted rope of vegetable fibers. Most amazing, instead of paddles, there are two oar seats, with oars and oarlocks, and a seat for the steersman with a steering paddle/oar at the port side of the stern. The paddle has an amazing resemblance to the Tlingit/Haida paddle of the American Northwest, as do many other items pictured elsewhere in the catalog. Included in the model are a gaff and a bailing box/bucket made of wood.

Apparently this style of craft was built up to 15 m. long.

Now, from other sources, I know that the Ainu also regularly used skin-on-frame boats.

But a planked Ainu vessel is new to me.

Any other sources out there?


Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:08 am
by kbs2244
That sure sounds Norse to me.