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August 14, 2007 > Tule boats on the lake

Tule boats on the lake

By Jackelyn Ho

In the 16th century, Ohlone Indians lived along California's coast and quickly adjusted to daily life, creating new inventions to help accomplish daily tasks. One of the most fascinating inventions, still admired today, are the tule boats, used to travel across bays, inlets and marshes. It was a highly useful tool, made from tule rushes available in damp soiled areas. To make these boats, Ohlones gathered tule rush and created ten foot long bundles. Air-tight tule bunches would be securely tied together resulting in a boat. Tule boats were shaped so that the biggest bunches lay in the middle for support and two smaller bundles were layered on the sides. These unique boats lasted anywhere from one to two weeks and became a necessity.

On Sunday, August 19th, a tule boat-making session will be held at Quarry Lakes in Fremont. This workshop will be available to those eight years old and up. All tule rush will be provided to construct the boats and builders will be able to test their product in the lake once they are done! Participants will have the rare opportunity to travel back in time and experience a small part of the Ohlone lifestyle.

Registration for this event is required and there is a small fee to cover materials ($3 for adults and $2 fee for children/seniors). This is a wonderful chance to learn more about the Ohlone culture and paddle into a whole new way of travel.

For more information, visit or call (888) 327-2757.

Tule boats on the lake, R $
Sunday, August 19
10 a.m. - noon
Quarry Lakes
2100 Isherwood Way, Fremont
(510) 795-4883

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