Video of Pirogue Carved From Cypress Tree

Hi Lloyd,

I know you have an interest in handmade boats.

   A friend passed this video along about pirouge making in South Louisiana, my homeland. The video was created around 1948-49 and depicts local craftsmen carving a local pirouge from a felled cypress with hand tools. The actual boat making starts at around minute 4:15.,188

   Pirouges were used by the trappers and fishermen in South Louisiana to travel through the shallow inland bayous. I’m sure there is a study somewhere that will describe how they were derived, in some way shape or form, from the dugout canoe but their shape and draft and size are much different. Current varieties are built of fiberglass but there was a transition between the dugout and the fiberglass versions that were built of marine grade plywood. Those are still being made by hand and are collectors items.

   Notice the water lilies in the bayou. They, like their distant land based cousin the kudzu, were introduced into the local environment from Asia to limit the effects of erosion in the 1920’s and 30’s and have run rampant for lack of a natural foe.

   I’ve always enjoyed your writing and publications since I first ran across Domebook long ago and, of course, your editorial contributions to The Whole Earth Catalog.

   Keep up the good work and I hope you enjoy.


   Jerome Fournier

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