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  Aleut, GP, symmetry, dihedral
  Posted by: gstamer on Sep-18-12 6:12 PM (EST)
 

You are probably talking about an Aleut paddle as has been pointed out. That said, some Greenland paddles also feature a pronounced diamond shape on both paddle faces that results in a sharp peak down the center (on both sides of the blade).

Just as an aside, Greenland blades are not always completely symmetrical. There are East Greenland paddles (among others) that have "bent blades" (dihedral). In other words if you place the loom on the ground with the bent blades rising upwards, the tips of the blades will be an inch or so above the ground. Early researchers thought the paddles had warped, but now it seems pretty clear they were deliberately carved that way.

These are pretty cool to use. I started my Newfoundland circumnavigation with one, (but that paddle was destroyed by a huge Newfoundland dog -- a bizarre story in itself). BTW, I orient the blades with the bent side facing forward (as per a bent-shaft canoe paddle).

Greg Stamer

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