Qwalsius Shaun Peterson (left) with Marvin Oliver.
A bowl carved by Marvin Oliver (Quinault and Isleta), Burke cat. no. 1989-26/9.
These paddle patterns are taken from examples of western Washington tribes and are prime examples of how diverse shapes are in this region. It is important to note these are mere outlines but they are a starting point for those who want to create paddles for Canoe Journey or their own personal use.
Examples like these are few but are very valuable, showing how art exists in daily life as utilitarian because it’s not just a matter of painting on top of or relief carving an object. Spoons and ladles, feast bowls are just equally important as paddles into understanding forms that developed and distinguished tribes from one another and there is great value in that. It reminds me of how valuable the bowl Marvin carved that is in the Burke collection is and always was.