Inuit Kayak Model, wood covered with seal skin, lined with bone
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The Inuit or Eskimo's of Alaska, northern Canada, and parts of Greenland mainly hunted sea animals. For that activity, they used kayaks, which means 'hunters boats'. Of course, the kayaks did not only serve as hunting equipment; they were an essential means of transport in daily life. It should therefore come as no surprise that kayaks feature in their art. The Inuit carved small sculptures of animals, humans, hunting equipment from ivory, bone and wood. This model is unique because all the hunting devices are still present: spears, harpoons, spear throwers, wood float board, bladder, paddles and other equipment used for seal hunting.
Please note how well these are made in a stunning combination of wood and bone and lashed on deck underbone and sinew spear securers. In the case of the real kayak for use, the men made the boat's frame. The women, for their part, tanned the seal hides and sewed them together to make the waterproof skin of a kayak. The women would grease the seams with seal fat and fish oil to ensure they were watertight. The outer skin had to be renewed at least every two years. It had a driftwood or bone frame. Apart from the double paddle used to propel the kayak in the water, a harpoon, spear and swimming skin was also fastened to the kayak when hunting. The harpoon and spear would be tied to the boat using leather straps and would often trail in the water beside the hunter when not in use. The swimming skin or bladder would be fastened behind the paddler tied to the harpoon to prevent a speared seal from diving away from the hunter. The primary use of an Eskimo kayak was for hunting, and seals, walruses, birds and even reindeer were all hunted using kayaks at sea.
Dimensions 155cm x 12cm