Pebobscot Indians in a Birch Bark Canoe ( 1918) Maine.

Pebobscot Indians in a Birch Bark Canoe ( 1918) Maine.

Native American birch bark canoes—often described as the one of the greatest inventions in human history—were copied by Euroamerican fur traders and sportsmen. “The Legacy of Penobscot Canoes: A View from the River”—a new exhibit at Harvard University—explores the enduring importance of rivers and canoes in Penobscot tribal life and on relationships between the tribe and non-Indians.

Penobscot canoe, Photo/Harvard/Jenny Berglund.

Penobscot canoe, Photo/Harvard/Jenny Berglund.

This new installation features a rarely seen full-size bark canoe purchased from Penobscot Indian Francis Sebattis in 1912, as well as stone tools collected by Henry David Thoreau, who described the Penobscot and their canoes in The Maine Woods.

The Legacy of Penobscot Canoes: A View from the River opens to the public Saturday, April 12, at 9:00 a.m. at Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology (11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts). It will remain on view through 2014.

See the related exhibition at the adjacent Harvard Museum of Natural History, Thoreau’s Maine Woods: A Journey in Photographs with Scot Miller, running through September 1, 2014.

Admission to one museum admits visitors to both during regular hours.

Contact Information:


Share this Article On Facebook Twitter More...


Like New England Boating on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.
Receive our Daily News Update:

Don’t forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter!

Each month our emailed newsletter keeps you up to speed on the top news items, videos, destinations, reviews and fishing articles on New England Boating, so you won’t miss a beat. It’s convenient, it’s free, and you can opt out at any time!