Paddle Up on the Himmarshee Canal in Ft Lauderdale for art and tradition!

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kayakfari flex maslan Himmarshee new river art seminole paddle kayak ft lauderdale upper room gallery Robin Merrill tribal arts

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Paddle Up on the Himmarshee Canal was a unique event – part public art and part history. This wasn’t a long paddle by any stretch, but it was special nonetheless. The brain child of artist Robin Haines Merrill of the Upper Room Art Gallery, working together with Seminole and Miccosukee traditional artists, this was an excursion into history, bridging cultures and waters.

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Historically, the Himmarshee Canal was a tributary of the New River, which was a major artery in and out of the Everglades. The word translates to “new water” or “new river” and legend has it that it appeared overnight after a big storm or possibly an earth quake. Now for the first time in probably a hundred years, there were trading posts along the river as well as Native paddlers in a (replica) traditional watercraft on the New River!!

This was also true for the delicious traditional Seminole pumpkin frybread that is NOT served in any restaurant!

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(Click pics for larger versions)

kayakfari flex maslan Himmarshee new river art seminole paddle kayak ft lauderdale upper room gallery Robin Merrill tribal arts

Paddling up the Himmarshee Canal, the first “trading post” is on the dock at left, featuring a Native clothing and fashion exhibit!

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kayakfari flex maslan Himmarshee new river art seminole paddle kayak ft lauderdale upper room gallery Robin Merrill tribal arts Rosie

I am standing on top of my kayak ‘Rosie’ and looking at artwork installed on the low bridges of the Himmarshee Canal.
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Knowing that this would be a short paddle, I took out “Rosie” – my plus-sized Sit on Top kayak that I usually paddle standing up, paying homage to Native paddlers. I did use a kayak paddle instead of poling however.

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kayakfari flex maslan Himmarshee new river art seminole paddle kayak ft lauderdale upper room gallery Robin Merrill tribal arts

Colorized reproductions of historical photographs from the early 20th century by Robin Merrill.

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kayakfari flex maslan Himmarshee new river art seminole paddle kayak ft lauderdale upper room gallery Robin Merrill tribal arts

The event was open to the public and many people saw it from the low bridges and restaurants along the Himmarshee Canal.

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kayakfari flex maslan Himmarshee new river art seminole paddle kayak ft lauderdale upper room gallery Robin Merrill tribal arts

The “La Croix” (second) trading post featured refreshing cool sparkling waters!
They were handed out to paddlers with a lacrosse stick!

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kayakfari flex maslan Himmarshee new river art seminole paddle kayak ft lauderdale upper room gallery Robin Merrill tribal arts

Third trading post on the canal was all about delicious traditional Seminole pumpkin frybread! 🙂

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kayakfari flex maslan Himmarshee new river art seminole paddle kayak ft lauderdale upper room gallery Robin Merrill tribal arts

A way of life, brought back in time for a moment on the Himmarshee Canal thanks to the Upper Room Art Gallery.

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Anita Allen kayakfari flex maslan Himmarshee new river art seminole paddle kayak ft lauderdale upper room gallery Robin Merrill tribal arts

Thanks to Anita Allen for capturing this great pic of me as I was being mesmerized by the “Row” video installation! 🙂

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kayakfari flex maslan Himmarshee new river art seminole paddle kayak ft lauderdale upper room gallery Robin Merrill tribal arts

Today’s Himmarshee Canal is a dead-end, however it was historically a tributary to the New River.

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kayakfari flex maslan Himmarshee new river art seminole paddle kayak ft lauderdale upper room gallery Robin Merrill tribal arts

Native watercraft meets the 21st century and paddle sports on the Himmarshee Canal!

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Traditional Seminole Native Artist Pedro Zepeda and local athlete and racer Anita Allen of the Lanakila Iki Outrigger Canoe Club paddle the large replica canoe.

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kayakfari flex maslan Himmarshee new river art seminole paddle kayak ft lauderdale upper room gallery Robin Merrill tribal arts

Anita Allen and Pedro Zepeda pilot the replica canoe around on the Himmarshee Canal.

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kayakfari flex maslan Himmarshee new river art seminole paddle kayak ft lauderdale upper room gallery Robin Merrill tribal arts

Paddling past a video installation by Houston Cypress on the SE 2nd Court bridge downtown.

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kayakfari flex maslan Himmarshee new river art seminole paddle kayak ft lauderdale upper room gallery Robin Merrill tribal arts

This section of the Himmarshee Canal is lined with cozy and tempting restaurants.

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kayakfari flex maslan Himmarshee new river art seminole paddle kayak ft lauderdale upper room gallery Robin Merrill tribal arts

Back at the first trading post!

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kayakfari flex maslan Himmarshee new river art seminole paddle kayak ft lauderdale upper room gallery Robin Merrill tribal arts

Traditional Seminole Artist Pedro Zepeda steers a replica of a large multi person native dug out canoe.

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kayakfari flex maslan Himmarshee new river art seminole paddle kayak ft lauderdale upper room gallery Robin Merrill tribal arts

Pedro Zepeda is carving an actual cypress dug out as part of the Tribal Arts Project in Ft Lauderdale. 
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This canoe is on display at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Village Museum on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation.

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kayakfari flex maslan Himmarshee new river art seminole paddle kayak ft lauderdale upper room gallery Robin Merrill tribal arts

Landing the large canoe at the dock of All Saints Episcopal Church on the New River.

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CLICK for more info!

 

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Many more pics here on the faceBook event page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1434646793503199/1436864666614745/

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A BIG thanks to artist Robin Haines Merrill and the Native artists for making this unique event happen and the kind folks at All Saints Episcopal Church for the hospitality!

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© 2016 Flex Maslan / kayakfari.com / awakenthegrass.com / decoratedreality.com. All original photographs, artworks and music in this portfolio are copyrighted and owned by the artist, Flex Maslan, unless otherwise noted. Any reproduction, modification, publication, transmission, transfer, or exploitation of any of the content, for personal or commercial use, whether in whole or in part, without written permission from the artist is strictly prohibited.

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DISCLAIMER:: The maps and images on this site are not intended for navigation, I am not a guide; use any and all information at your own risk! Your mileage may vary .. so use good judgement before venturing out!

With that said..
Blessings friends!

:)

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Enjoy.

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! Bless

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