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By Marc Lutz
Wrangell Sentinel 

Paddle workshop connects crafters with Native culture


Marc Lutz/Wrangell Sentinel

Luella Knapp, right, listens to master carver Doug Chilton as he advises her on the paddle-making process. Knapp and about 14 other participants worked on paddles made of cedar during a class on April 23 to use as part of the Shx'at Kwaán dance group and at Celebration in Juneau this June.

For as long as the Tlingit people have built canoes, they have carved paddles. Just as there are many different sizes and styles of canoes for various purposes, paddles are created to be just as unique to their users.

The tradition of carving paddles continues today throughout Southeast for cultural celebrations, dancing, decorations and even paddling canoes.

In Wrangell, a workshop held April 22-24 educated about 15 participants on the type of wood to use, how to carve it and properly finish it.

"We wanted to bring people together here before we headed to Celebration this June (in Juneau)...

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