Close Up

2 September 2016: Ethnographies: César's Bark Canoe


Part of our ongoing screenings of ethnographical films, Paul Harnden Shoemakers presents a very rare screening of Bernard Gosselin's César's Bark Canoe.

César's Bark Canoe
Bernard Gosselin
1971 | 57 min | Colour | 16mm
Introduced by Paul Harnden

This documentary shows how a canoe is built the old way. César Newashish, a 67-year-old Attikamek of the Manawan Reserve north of Montreal, uses only birchbark, cedar splints, spruce roots and gum. Building a canoe solely from the materials that the forest provides may become a lost art, even among the Native peoples whose traditional craft it is. The film is without commentary but text frames appear on the screen in Cree, French and English.