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Dugout



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Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Na Ho Prod.
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 80 mins
Country of Origin: Canada
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2011
Available in French: No

DUGOUT is about 20 young people of varied backgrounds; who are all carvers; working with a Tlingit master carver from Alaska.  The challenge is to create a sea-going dugout canoe from a single 5 foot diameter cedar tree.
 
They are on an island; tools are mostly hand tools; principally adzes and there is very little of the "outside"; no TV, no cell phones (except one day a week), no internet, no iPods... they have a guitar; they have the drum; yet music is everywhere.  For ten weeks they are "off the grid".
 
Around this great work of art a small community of young people forms; in many ways like a village 100 years ago; when sea-going canoes like this were carved near the stump where the log fell.  Everything is going well; the dugout canoe has it's outside shape, it is has been adzed and scorped on the inside; rendering the hull to an even thickness of 1" on the sides and 1.5" on the bottom.  
 
All has been prepared for that one day of steaming when cedar wood will be pushed way beyond its limits and the hull of this 30 foot boat will be widened by two feet (essential for stability), the stern and prow will rise six inches and the canoe will have a "rocker" as well as the width it needs to ride ocean waves with a crew of twelve.  
 
Suddenly... when the  last lava rock basket enters the boiling water inside the canoe... there is a  catastrophic failure... and the dugout becomes metaphor for the transformation inside each member of this tiny community; and a symbol for what needs to done "outside".