NativeTech: Native American Technology & Art

Scenes from the Eastern Woodlands
A Virtual Tour ~ Circa 1550

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Catching fish in a net from our canoe ...
You will see, coiled up in the center of the canoe, the strong fishing line made from the dogbane plant. We cast the line into the lake and catch trout, bass and other fish on the hooks we make from deer bone. Though our fishing lines are fine and thin, they are so strong, that even the sea sturgeon fish which weigh over one hundred pounds cannot break it.

We catch the fish in strong nets woven onto carved wooden handles. We use special bone netting needles to weave these nets. Here we are fishing from our wooden dug-out canoe, that we made by burning out the center and chipping away the burned material, then burning out the center again, until it has the right thickness. We take care when we are burning out the center of the log for a canoe; we pack wet mud along the top rim and sides of the canoe so that it does not burn too far into the wood.

In the foreground, you can see cattail plants growing along the edge of the lake. Cattails are one of our most useful wetland plants. They have edible shoots and tuberous roots; spring cattail pollen extends our flour, and the sewn cattail leaf mats provide amazing insulation for our wigwams.

Catching fish in a net from our canoe ...
This series is now available as a soft-cover book:
"Woodland Windows," with expanded descriptive
text and additional resource materials

These scenes are also available as
Fine Art Note Cards

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© 1994 - Tara Prindle
unless otherwise cited.