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Queens College English 110
American Museum of Natural History Walking into the museum it was… 
21st-May-2009 01:26 am
American Museum of Natural History

Walking into the museum it was very familiar I have visited once a couple of years ago with my family. Remembering the Norwest Coast Indians I went straight for them. It was just interesting to me their way of living. The artifact that interested me the most was the Haida Canoe.
The Haida Canoe was explained to us to be a 63 foot long canoe made out of one piece of wood. It was interesting to learn that the way they were able to make the boat as big as they did was by using boiling water to widen it and make the wood eight and a half feet wide. Another interesting part of the boat was the painting on the side of it. It is said that the boat is not exactly from the tribe that is on it but might have been sold a different one.
On the boat you can see that there is a leader in the front and what looks like royalty sitting in the back. Then in the middle you have slaves that are rowing the boat. The slaves can be seen as working hard and tired. You can see that there is a man in the back sitting on a chair and his guards next to him. This indicated that the Indians had some type of social system. There were indeed different ranks in position especially portrayed in this picture. The men rowing were most defiantly the lowest because they were doing the most work. One thing that is missing from the whole picture are the women. Women in that time were not the ones to be traveling they were mostly likely on land with the kids and working on the field and animals.
In this picture you are able to put a picture in your head of what went one in the past. It informs society today of the technology and social rankings of years before them. In technology I mean by the way they were able to make the canoe. Also the craftsmanship done on the side of the canoe is interesting the time and work that was put in and they did not have tools close to what we have today. It show the people of today how individuals lived in the past. The social system is very clear as seen there is a leader in the back of the canoe sitting, you are able to see that he is in power because of the way he is dressed. He is dressed in animal skin and is sitting indicating he is in power. Than he has his bodyguards protecting him from all sides, dressed also in animal skins and holding bones which look like weapons. The right in front of him he has the slaves who are barely dressed and rowing the canoe looking tired and drained. And finally at the very front of the boat you have a leader that looks like he is giving the directions and urging on the slaves to row.
I liked the exhibit there was nothing really that I did not like. Everything was set up like it was happening in that moment. It’s a good way of reminding people what went on in the past and in some ways how difficult it was. In a way making you thankful that you don’t have to live like that anymore.
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