Presentation on theme: "Our people, the Nipmuc, used the dugout, or ‘mishoon’, primarily over lakes and large ponds."— Presentation transcript:
Our people, the Nipmuc, used the dugout, or ‘mishoon’, primarily over lakes and large ponds.
A large tree, tall and straight, was felled by burning it around the base until it toppled. White pine or chestnut were commonly chosen. After placing the log on supports, they would remove the bark and branches. Then, alternating between burning and scraping, the inside of the log was “dug out” to form the mishoon. Making a dugout was laborious and took days.
Written reports of such craft go back to Roger Williams in 1643: “Mishoon an Indian boat or Canow made of a Pine or Oake, or Chestnut-tree: I have scene a Native goe into the woods with his hatchet, carrying onely a Basket of Corne with him, and stones to strike fire when he hadJeld his tree (being a chestnut) he made him a little House or shed of the bark of it, he puts fire and followes the burning of it with fire, in the midst of many places. his corn he boyles and hath the Brooke by him, and sometimes Angles for a little fish; but so tree continues burning and hewing untill he bath within ten or twelve dayes (lying there at his worke alone) finished and (getting hands) ranched his Boater with which afterward tree ventures out to flsh in the Ocean.... Some of (the canoes) will not well carry above three or foure: but some of them twenty, thirty, forty men.... Their owne reason hath taught them, to pull of a Coat or two and set it up on a small pole, with which they will saile before a wind ten, or twenty mile.... It is wonderfull to see how they will Denture in those Canoes, and how (being oft overset as I have my selfe been with them) they will swim a mile, yea two or more safe to Land I having been necessitated to passe waters diverse times with them, it hath pleased God to make them many times the instruments of my preservation. and when sometimes In great danger I have questioned safety, they have said to me: Feare not, if we be overset I will carry you safe to Land.…”
Because of its immense weight, the mishoon was not easily moved from place to place, unlike its lightweight counterpart, the birch bark canoe.
Thus, for winter storage or concealment, the owner would intentionally submerge the mishoon by loading it with large rocks until it laid below the surface of the water. This would preserve it during the winter.