The first builders of boats for transportation in North America were the tribes of Native Americans who greeted the European invaders with canoes. The canoes of the southeast woodlands tribes were most likely fashioned from whole logs, through a laborious process of burning and chipping away the interior to leave a sturdy, seaworthy shell. Dugout canoes could reach a considerable size, limited only by the length and circumference of the logs available in the forest. Later, slave laborers constructed canoes using the same building techniques to transport plantation goods down South Carolina's rivers to market towns. (For other illustrations showing the way of life of Carolina coastal Native Americans, see Early Native Americans In South Carolina, Native Americans Hunting, and Native American Pottery)
Courtesy of the University of North Carolina Press.