Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A stringy thread made from the roots of various conifers and used by certain Native American peoples in sewing and weaving.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The root of the spruce, and sometimes also of the pine, split lengthwise into strips and used in the construction of baskets and canoes.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The long slender roots of the white spruce, Picea alba, which are used by canoe-makers in north western North America for binding together the strips of birch-bark.

Etymologies

Ojibwa wadab.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ojibwe wadab ("spruce root"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In a country, therefore, where hemp and flax cannot be readily procured, the "watap" is of great value.

    The Young Voyageurs Boy Hunters in the North

  • Thus placed, they were all firmly lashed with strong cords of watap, by means of holes pierced in the bottom plank.

    The Young Voyageurs Boy Hunters in the North

  • These threads are as strong as the best cords of hemp, and are known among the Indians by the name of "watap."

    The Young Voyageurs Boy Hunters in the North

  • The watap, wet or dry, does not yield, and has therefore been found to be the best thing of all others for this purpose.

    The Young Voyageurs Boy Hunters in the North

  • Francois, who waited upon him with much diligence, handing him now the awl, and then the watap, whenever he required them.

    The Young Voyageurs Boy Hunters in the North

  • Of course it took Norman a considerable time to set all the ribs in their proper places, and fasten them securely; but he was ably assisted by François, who waited upon him with much diligence, handing him now the awl, and then the watap, whenever he required them.

    Popular Adventure Tales

  • Digging a trench from the pole to the back of the hole, he carefully set the trap, laid it in the trench near the back of the hole, so that it rested about half an inch below the surface of the surrounding earth, covered it with thin layers of birch bark (sewed together with _watap_ -- thin spruce roots) then, sifting earth over it, covered all signs of both trap and chain, and finally, with a crane's wing brushed the sand into natural form.

    The Drama of the Forests Romance and Adventure

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