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  • Writer's pictureArchangel Committee

Matitsa: Wooden boats in the Arctic countries and Maine

“In the Russian North, the word “matitsa” means the primary hand hewn wood beam which supports the ceiling in wooden buildings, at the same time it is a keel in Pomor ships.”

A third Zoom Forum was hosted by on 15 July 2021 when many presentations were made about boats, ships, building and preservation.

Two Excellent presentations were made by Maine archaeologists Timothy Spahr, of the Cape Porpoise Archaeological Alliance and Arthur Anderson from the University of New England: Biddeford, Maine Campus, about the discovery, excavation, removal and conservation of a carbon dated 700-year-old Southern Maine Coastal Indigenous People's built Yellow Birch Dugout Canoe that was found nearly buried in the Inter-Tidal Mudflats of a Cape Porpoise beach in November 2018. Currently, the canoe is being preserved at the Brick Store Museum in Kennebunkport. (See photographs below.)

The Matitsa Project is the "International Project for the Preservation and Development of Wooden Boat Building", and was designed to provide an ongoing platform for professionals and others interested in preserving and promoting the historical heritages of wooden boat building in Russia, in Scandinavia and other Arctic countries. Maine was invited because of the Archangel/Maine connections.

The Matitsa Project was launched in 2020 and Northern Maritime Museum in Archangel has been working with their international partners in local events and virtual events since then. Archangel Committee members Dennis Marrotte & Dan Glover have been working since January 2020 to find individuals, museums, schools and businesses in Maine.

Participating Maine organizations include Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, Maine Wooden Boat School in Brooklin, The Apprenticeshop in Rockland, the Sweetland Middle School in Hope, the Cape Porpoise Archaeological Alliance in Kennebunk, Steve Cayard, Birch Bark Canoe Builder in Wellington, and “MAINE Boats, Homes & Harbors “ Magazine.

We look forward to continued cooperation with our friends in Archangel and Scandinavia to preserve the ancient arts and traditions of wooden boat building and restoration. Please contact Matitsa directly at

Locally, please contact: Dennis at TEL: 207-232-4855 AND/OR Dan at TEL: 2070854-1466

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