canoa de pau

These pages show most of the Brazilian Boats & Canoes built in the past centuries and some still used today in some places along the coastline and near rivers. The indigenous peoples still use the Canoa de Casca or Ubá (bark canoe) or the Canoa Indígena or Casco (dugout). Fishermen along the coast use the Canoa Caiçara (dugout). The African slaves brought the design of canoes as the Canoa Baiana. Also since the 16th century canoes and boats have been built with designs influenced by foreigners who came to Brazil, as Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish and French for example. A clear example is the Baleeira which is the design of the whaler dory from Azores Islands.

Unfortunately wooden boats and canoes are built less nowadays due to the restrictions to cut trees in protected forests, nevertheless this precious knowledge is preserved to a certain extend. Native boat builders keep the wisdom to choose the trees to have the right timber for each boat and the construction depends on knowledge passed from generation to generation. According to them, the influence of the moon in the wood is of great importance. The best wood is cut during the full moon or up to 3 days before the new moon. The timber is subject to cracking and insect attack if cut after the new moon, or until three days before the full moon . With the full moon, a greater amount of sap is stored in the body of wood, giving it a higher quality and being less dry than if taken in another phase of the moon, when there is less amount of sap. The process is a physical factor of the moon with the tree liquids. The tree is cut in the forests and deployed to facilitate transport, it is dragged in rivers or inlets. The specific gravity of many of these woods is greater than the water and do not float. The timber maintains its good structural qualities depending on the tree placement. Those on top of the hills grow in drier lands, subject to the winds, growing highly resistant. They are usually shorter, have bulkier fiber and specific weight. Should be used for curves, fins, bow stem and other areas of strong resistance. Trees which grow in lowlands, where moisture is more common, are longer and thinner as these grow in search of sun. Due to the wet soil, these are rich in sap and are good for the poles, braces, frames, and other pieces where bending is necessary. Sometimes whole trees, logs, boards and pieces are stored in yards or buried for years in the mud of the mangroves to maintain quality, preventing evaporation and dryness, protected by moisture and low temperature before actually drying to be cut and used in the building of boats and canoes.

You will find several of the designs here browsing the pages.

Furtherly you may browse the posts which show some of the fauna, flora, biomes, maps, popular food and drinks in Brazil. Have fun.