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One reason that Kino's canoe is so precious to him is because it was handed down to him from his father (and grandfather.) Kino is following in the tradition of his ancestors by making a living as a fisherman. This leads right into the second reason the canoe is such a pivotal object in Kino's life: without the canoe, he has no means by which to make a living. That canoe is his lifeline to catching fish and earning money.
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