Any old name can give a bit of information, but the best names tell a story. Maquoketa or Maquaw-Autaw from the Meskwaki language translates to English as Bear River. While the story may be lost to the fog of time, legend has it the Devil’s Tower in Wyoming was formed when a giant, hungry bear chased two Lakota girls in search of lunch. The girls prayed to the Great Spirit to be saved. The Great Spirit caused the rocks to rise high into the sky. Still in pursuit, the bear scratched and clawed at the cliff, carving deep marks in the rock. Despite his fury, the bear wasn’t able to climb the sheer rock face. Beaten, he turned and slunk away. Perhaps, it was this very same giant bear, smarting from recent defeat, he skulked his way along the banks of the Maquoketa. Coming upon a cave, he crawled deep inside and sleeps there still.
This design is painted on our Voyageur Heritage Paddle. With an elegantly traditional blade shape these are graceful in and out of the water. They’re perfect for lazy turns around the lake or for gracing the wall of your cabin. Each is a laminated combination of western red cedar, aspen and black walnut.