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Passamaquoddy Canoe Model by Tomah Joseph File Exhibition Catalog: Birch bark containers and canoe models were made with the soft dark brown coating of the inside of the bark forming the outer surface of the objects to allow for sgraffito decoration. Designs were created by scraping away the dark layer to expose the lighter surface. Tomah Joseph was one of the most active of the Passamaquoddy Indian producers of birch bark objects. This example is the highwater mark of his development as a model canoe maker. He was also the builder of one of the last ocean-going canoes of his people. In addition to various images, he incised his name and several Native texts on this canoe. "Kolele mooke" means "good luck", and "Mikwid hamin" translates as "remember me." The picture of a pipe-smoking rabbit may be Joseph's personal mark, as it shows up also on other objects made by him. There were three dolls in this canoe when it was sold in 1993 (T301a-c) but they seem unrelated to the work of Tomah Joseph and are too small for proper scale with the canoe. Lester 1993, p.19, fig.39; Skinner's 1993, lot 34; Time-Life Books 1995, p.61; Vincent 1995a, pp.26-27.
height 8.25 in, length 50.5 in, width 10.5 in