Dugout Canoe Paddles from the Peruvian Amazon
I find these paddles or remos along the Amazon River in the Peruvian Rainforest. I move along the shoreline in my dugout and barter with local fisherman for the paddles they are using. These paddles are traditionally made from the buttress roots of remo caspi Aspidosperma excelsum.
Remo caspi, or literally paddle wood, is a lightweight but strong wood perfect for paddles. Unfortunately remo caspi is also an excellent building material and it is being depleted in many places. In its place I see increasing use of other woods for paddle construction, sometimes even fine mahogany.
I search for paddles that are well used with broad tulip-shaped blades. Most of these paddles have been around the river long enough to have taken on a dark stain. Some paddles are marked with the owner's name while others are repaired with whatever the owner could find (nails, pieces of metal, etc). I don't avoid repaired paddles, but treat them as typical working tools along the river
These are the largest paddles from my collection, Averaging about 52
inches long and
9 inches across the blade.
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