Project Description

This female gobong canoe paddle was originally collected by Joe Tilton, Martin and Osa Johnson’s sound man during the 1935 expedition to North Borneo.  Upon returning to the states, Jim gave the paddle to the father of his friend, Louis Emanuel, as a souvenir.  By the time the man passed away, this museum had opened and we were pleased to accept the donation of the paddle from the Emanuel Family.   Martin and Osa were naturalists who pioneered a “Take a Picture, Leave only Footsteps” approach to travel.  Post WWII, and with the loss and changing of cultures and traditions, however, Osa’s mother Belle Leighty expanded the collection mission of the museum Osa had planned before her death.  Belle sent out letters and requests for artifacts, and even before opening in a brick and mortar facility in 1961, the Safari Museum began accepting donations like this to have a representative artifact to link their photos to the customs of the past.