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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North Alaska Kotzebue Sound Kayak
Lowie Museum, University of California, Berkeley, LM 2/6349   (see Lines drawing in PDF)
North Alaska Kotzebue Sound
Photo by George H. Wilkins, Canadian Arctic Expedition 1913-1916 courtesy of Canadian Museum of Civilization.
  • Length - 17' 2.9"
  • Beam - 18.8"
  • Depth to Sheer - 9.4"
  • Weight - 26.9 lbs.
  • Loaded kayak stable to 17 degrees.
This highly maneuverable kayak was used for hunting beluga whales in bays. A dozen or more kayakers drove the whales into the shallows and dispatched them with flint spears.  Capsize was common in this unstable kayak during the turmoil.

The kayak was also used for seal hunting along the floe edge. A similar kayak, covered with caribou skin was used along the Noatuk River to hunt muskrat in reedy lagoons and to spear caribou crossing rivers and lakes.

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