Lightweight boat pointed at both ends and propelled by one or more paddles. The earliest canoes had light frames of wood covered by tightly stretched tree bark. The birchbark canoe was first used by the Algonquian Indians in what is now the northeastern U.S. and Canada, and its use passed westward. Canoes were often about 20 ft (6 m) in length, though war canoes might be as long as 100 ft (30 m). The dugout canoe, made from a hollowed-out log, was used by Indians in what is now the southeastern U.S. and along the Pacific coast as far north as Canada, as well as by peoples in Africa and New Zealand. Modern canoes are made of wood, canvas over wood frames, aluminum, and molded plastic or fibreglass. Most are open from end to end, but the kayak is also considered a canoe. See also canoeing.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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