Paddle Name: La BONGA*
Badger Category: Tear-drop Beavertail

Description: Our new paddle design has a shorter, wider, blade profile making it ideal for shallow river canoe tripping. Designed to efficiently pull thru shallow water smoothy and quietly, this new (yet traditionally) tear-drop shaped river paddle was named by Ian Lockett in honour of George Bonga, a famous fur-trader from long, long ago. See more about Bonga’s inspirational story below...
Specifications**: W6.5” X L22”
Paddle Sock: included
Wood Types: Ash, Cherry, Tulipwood, and sometimes Walnut or other specialty woods are available.
**due to the nature of hand crafted work, these measurements are approximate and could differ as much as 1/4” or more.  The width is taken at the widest part of the paddle blade and the length is the measurement of the blade from it’s end to it’s neck.

Paddle Sock included with this paddle!

(Tripper shown in sock)

The La BONGA is available  in standard BADGER®” construction only.BADGER_Canoe_Paddles.htmlshapeimage_6_link_0

*While “La BONGA” is definitely not a usual name for a canoe paddle, it is safe to say the man for whom this paddle name honours, was no ordinary Voyageur. The name "La BONGA" was suggested to us by Ian Lockett during our #Nameit2Claimit Contest, and pays homage to the title given to legendary voyageur, George Bonga, by his French speaking peers.

Known as “The Bonga”, George Bonga became a famous and fabled hero amongst his fellow voyageurs. He was a giant amongst the fur-traders, as Bonga stood at 6'6" tall and it was reported that he was over 200 lbs, which made for an unusual Voyageur as most company men were of much smaller stature. Bonga was also the son of a freed slave turned fur-trader, and was also of Ojibwe descent; learning the english, french, and Ojibwe languages, he also grew up to be a fur trader and a wilderness guide. The stories of his amazing strength, intelligence, and incredible feats made him a real asset in the bush despite his large size. He was well liked by the fur-trading men of his time and in his later life, Bonga did much to advocate for rights of the Ojibwe people.

According to the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer publication titled "Who is George Bonga?": “On fur-trading voyages, Bonga’s strength and endurance became legendary among his fellow travellers. And his excellent singing voice helped voyageurs keep time all day long as they paddled birch-bark canoes loaded with trade goods.”

.... So a hearty congratulations to Ian Lockett for his winning submission and for his wonderful idea of paying homage to the legendary George Bonga. To learn more about George Bonga, see: “Who was George Bonga?” or Google “George Bonga”.