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Paddling through the Americas: Dugout Canoes

Paddling through the Americas: Dugout Canoes

June 2 – September 3, 2018

Find out how dugout canoes have affected life and travel throughout the Americas, from Florida to the Amazon and the Pacific. Discover the world’s largest archaeological find — 101 ancient dugouts at Newnans Lake, Florida, and how scientists study dugouts from the past. Learn how the dugout tradition is alive and well in Native communities today.


  • More than 100 unique objects, including an ancient Florida canoe, a contemporary dugout from the Pacific Northwest, canoe paddles and model canoes from across the Americas, fishing equipment, canoe-making tools and more.
  • Touchable trade materials and model canoes. Be an archaeologist at an ancient canoe discovery site. Use a microscope to identify woods. Discover objects from ancient canoe cultures. 
  • Create a rubbing from a sacred Mayan engraving. Design your own paddle. Climb into a real dugout.
  • Four short films showcase the making of a canoe, canoe science, the world’s largest find of ancient dugouts, and the 2009 Native American Canoe Journey.
  • Numerous large-format historic engravings, photo backdrops and interpretive panels.

This exhibition was produced by the Florida Museum of Natural History with support from the AEC Trust, Lastinger Family Foundation, State of Florida and VisitGainesville.

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Sponsored by: Kevin and Travis Thompson

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