The Aleutian Kayak: An Item of Cultural Identity


I was drawn to these artifacts because it displays the process of creating the Aleutian kayak.  The kayak is more than just a boat to the people of the Aleutian chain-it plays a significant role to the values, environment, and way of life of these people. It also makes me wonder how the frame of these kayaks were made because there are no trees on the islands-it is believed that people made them using driftwood that arrived on the islands.

These kayaks look like they were used to hunt because there is little room for goods.  Hunting kayaks can withstand rough seas and are built very strong…I was surprised to see that the design of kayaks has not changed much over the last couple hundred years.  This is no accident-the Aleuts were good at their craft and advanced in their designs.  Kayaks were so valued in the Aleutian communities that they were a symbol of men moving into adulthood.

2 thoughts on “The Aleutian Kayak: An Item of Cultural Identity”

  1. Thats awesome to connect kayak of hundreds of years ago with the kayaks today. They truly are a timeless design much like the wheel. They were so perfectly engineered that they have withstood the tests of time.

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