Petroglyphs Ships and Canoes

Ships and Canoes

View all the tracings in Creed's "Ships and Canoes" category

Ships and CanoesA very large number of the tracings recorded by George Creed depict sailing ships, canoes, and small craft of a variety of types. The great number of vessel images indicate a high degree of interest in these craft. There is a wide range of complexity in the images. Some vessels are depicted as simple outline drawings with little detail.

Ships and CanoesThe Schooner at left, pictured running before the wind, is an example of ship images that are remarkably detailed. This image clearly shows the extreme twist in the gaff-rigged sails as the wind blows from astern, the panels of cloth that make up the sails and several rigging elements including shrouds and stays.

Ships and CanoesCreed traced several images of canoes. Many of these canoes are shown in use, most frequently depicting the hunt for porpoises. The majority show the typical Mi'kmaq canoe design (as at left) with distinctly rounded ends and sides that curve upward in the middle (called a hogged shear). These characteristics made the Mi'kmaq canoes capable boats for use on both lakes and the ocean.

Ships and CanoesSailing vessels represented in rock art were all done after the arrival of Europeans in the New World. We can examine them with an eye to changes in ship construction over time, and thus assign a much more accurate date range during which each individual petroglyph had to have been created. Closer dates, in fact, can be gotten for ship-petroglyphs than for any other type of image. The image at left shows a vessel with blunt bow and raised deck, the people depicted are wearing long waisted coats, high boots and wide-brimmed hats - clothing typical of the 1600s. This petroglyph probably represents a vessel from that period.

Ships and CanoesOthers, like the detailed drawing of a sidewheel steamer at left show vessels that appeared in Nova Scotia only a few decades before Creed made his tracings in the 1880s.