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Canoe is one of the few English words to have made the leap from Spanish, in this case “canoa.” The Spaniards in turn were adopting a term from the indigenous Arawakan people of Haiti who, at least as far as Columbus recorded it, used the word “canaoua” to refer to hollowed out tree trunks used as sea going vessels.

At some point the same term began to be used for a hollowed out tree trunk used to crush, and perhaps ferment in previous periods, roasted agave. The verbiage makes complete sense because these vessels look so much like canoes that some might actually be sea worthy, or at least ready for a quick turn around your local lake.

Max co-founded Mezcalistas with Susan way back in 2012. Before that he was a journalist at Salon.com and The San Francisco Chronicle.

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