Man Thought of His Kayak
Irene Avaalaaqjaq 1976 *

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David W. Zimmerly

* This belongs to the collection of David & Helga Zimmerly.

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Copper Eskimo Kayak
Canadian Museum of Civilization, Ottawa, NMM IV-D-1057  (see Lines drawing in PDF)
Cooper Inuit Kayak Kannoyuak's kayak on sled, Kogluktualuk (Tree River), Coronation Gulf, 16 Oct. 1915, No. 38944. Courtesy of Canadian Museum of Civilization.
  • Length - 23' 3.2"
  • Beam - 15.6"
  • Depth to Sheer - 8.1"
  • Weight - 44.0 lbs.
  • Loaded kayak stable to 1 degree

This long, thin kayak was used by the Copper Inuit for hunting caribou in lakes and rivers. At 23' long and 15.6" wide it is a very crank craft. Few examples of this rather crudely built kayak exist. The finest example is this one, collected by Diamond Jenness in 1913-18. There is a puzzling contrast between the lack of fine finish detail on the Copper Inuit kayak and the extremely fine work done by the same group in splicing arrows and fashioning other hunting equipment.

Jenness reports a unique method of fishing using this kayak. The paddler holds the fishing line in his mouth, line trailing in the water. He paddles round and round until he nabs a fish and then makes all speed for shore. He dares not pull in the line while afloat for fear of capsize.

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