Delta Blues & Chinook Canoes in the Coffeehouse

The George Lagergren Chinook dugout canoes Tenas Leloo “Little Wolf” & Chinook Tahmahnawis “Chinook Spirit” will be visiting Highway 61 Coffeehouse this Thursday night from 7 PM to 9 PM.

John Ruskey of Clarksdale will be performing songs from his blues cd John Ruskey, the Riverman. John is literally a riverman, taking groups out on camping trips in his handmade boats. He is bringing the 2 beautiful hand carved canoes to share with us. In addition to singing and playing, John will be telling stories about the canoes.

They are the work of Chinook elder & master canoe builder, George Lagergren, age 84, resident of Wilapa Bay, Washington State. Both are carved in the Chinook tradition with a Wolf Head prow and a triangular tail (stern), both ends are slotted interior with a deep groove (for balancing your whaling harpoon), and painted in the traditional Chinook coloring, red & black. Each is accompanied with a panel of interpretive text and a traditional Chinook Paddle (fashioned from Yellow Cedar).

According to Ruskey, "These dugout canoes have strong personalities and a story to tell: the Chinook story! The people who sustained Lewis & Clark through the winter of 1805/06. They crave love & attention, especially from children and adults."

Tenas Leloo “Little Wolf”

Western Red Cedar
Length: 11’ 2”
Width (at beam): 19”
Head Height (prow): 22”
Tail Height (stern: 15”
Weight: 85 pounds

Chinook Tahmahnawis

Western Red Cedar
Length: 16’
Width (at beam): 21”
Head Height (prow): 32”
Tail Height (stern: 24”
Weight: 175 pounds


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