This is a magnificent old April River paddle with a brilliantly executed stylized crocodile form handle.
Someone must have loved this paddle quite a bit as can be seen by the native braided cane 'band aid' that circles around an old (but stable) crackle in the stem.
I say enough about the artistry of the handle terminal. This clear yet almost subliminal design is simply brilliant as aforementioned.
Ca. earlier 20th Cent.