UWO Students Build Dugout Canoe

Dugout canoe will be featured object in new People of the Waters exhibit

The oldest type of boat archaeologists have found is the dugout canoe, dating back 8,000 years. It is an integral part of telling the story of the early people that once inhabited this region. Crafting a dugout canoe from a large, solid pine log using stone tools and fire is a process that hasn't been seen for several hundred years.

One prominent feature that will be incorporated into the new People of the Waters long-term exhibit at the Oshkosh Public Museum is an artifact timeline display case that forms a chronology of cultural history within the Lower Winnebago Region from 12,000 years ago up to the 1850s. The case will be dense with artifacts showcasing the diversity and strength of the Museum's collections.

Students from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Behm, are building a dugout canoe as part of a field experience class during the Spring Interim. Using a large white pine log felled this winter and brought to the Museum by the City of Oshkosh Forestry Division, students are using prehistoric techniques to craft the vessel.

The process is being carefully documented, and the public is welcome to watch as the work takes place on Museum grounds. The Anthropology class meets at the Museum from 9 am to 3 pm each day, Monday to Friday, through June 3. Once completed, the dugout canoe will become part of the People of the Waters exhibit, tentatively set to open mid-2017.

You can help make People of the Waters a reality. The total cost for this exhibit is $750,000, and the Museum has about 75% of the necessary funding to complete this important project. Sponsorships and private support will play a vital role in funding the remaining $200,000 needed.

If you would like to make a charitable gift toward this state-of-the-art exhibition, or if your organization is interested in becoming a major sponsor, contact Brad Larson (920.236.5769) or Karla Szekeres (920.236.5763). Donations are also accepted online at oshkoshmuseum.org.

The Oshkosh Public Museum, 1331 Algoma Boulevard, is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 4:30 pm. For more information about the Museum's programming events and exciting exhibits, visit oshkoshmuseum.org, call 920.236.5799 or email museum@ci.oshkosh.wi.us.

About the Oshkosh Public Museum
The Oshkosh Public Museum is a regional history museum, nationally accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Housed in the historic Sawyer home since 1924, the Museum is entrusted with the care of approximately 250,000 artifacts and historical documents representing all aspects of the region's people and heritage. The Museum is dedicated to excellence in preservation of historical collections strongly focused around the Fox River and the extensive Winnebago watershed; interactively communicating the story of Oshkosh and the Lake Winnebago region through well-researched, quality exhibitions, programs and publications; and engaging guests in ways that inspire discovery. For admission, hours and more information about the Museum's exciting exhibits and events, visit oshkoshmuseum.org, call 920.236.5799 or email museum@ci.oshkosh.wi.us.

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