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Museum catalogue: Arctic Material Culture Collection


Kayak, model; equipment


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Accession no.: N: 205a-h
Title: Kayak, model; equipment
Description: Kayak, model; equipment. Tunumiit (East Greenlanders). Tasillap kommunea (Ammassalik District), Kalaallit Nunaata Tunua (East Greenland), 1930.
Classified name:
Current cultural affiliation Tunumiit
Former cultural affiliation East Greenlanders
Current place name Kalaallit Nunaata Tunu > Tasiilap kommunea
Former place name East Greenland > Ammassalik District {Tasiilaq District}
Getty AAT Models
Field collection:
Person Lindsay, Martin Alexander >
Organisation British Arctic Air Route Expedition 1930-31 >
Place Kalaallit Nunaata Tunu (East Greenland) > Tasiilap kommunea (Ammassalik District)
Date 1930
Number of items: 8
Full description:

Kayak, model; equipment: Kayak (a) frame is made of wood and consists of two gunwales which taper to a point at stem and stern, 9? rectangular cross beams mortised into the inner side of the gunwales, 1 cross beam (masik) in front of the cockpit, 9 bent ribs, keelson along flat-bottom, two side stringers, and a circular-shaped cockpit coaming. Frame is covered with translucent seal skin ? sewn with sinew. Narrow strip of ivory (152 mm long) is attached to underside at stem with ten rivets. Ivory knob is fitted on the pointed stem and upturned stern. Two pairs of sinew cross straps threaded through four and two ivory tighteners are stretched across the deck in front of the cockpit; one pair behind is threaded through two ivory tighteners. A single cross strap of same threaded through two ivory tighteners is secured to deck at stem and stern. L-shaped piece of ivory is attached to right side of deck in front of cockpit. Sprayskirt, attached around cockpit, is made from a single piece of dark brown dehaired seal skin in circular shape decorated with white seal skin applique around the upper and lower edge and open-worked applique of same attached horizontally 8 mm from upper edge and vertically along back seam. Two ivory knobs attached with sinew to centre front. Triangular case of dehaired seal skin is attached to the front deck with black cotton thread over single sinew cross-strap. Upper torso of man (b) is inserted into cockpit. Body is made of beige cotton fabric; head and bent arms of wood. Eyebrows, upper lip and chin and blackened. He is wearing a dehaired cream seal skin parka with long sleeves and attached hood. Base of hood forms a square extension at the front and back. Mittens are made of dehaired dark brown seal skin with a band of dehaired cream seal skin around the wrist. Figure is wearing a hat of dehaired cream seal skin with a brim of dehaired dark brown seal skin. Figure is holding a double-bladed paddle (c) made of a single piece of wood with lanceolate-shaped blades. Hand-grip is circular in cross-section. Curved ivory cap is attached to end of each flattened blade. Rectangular strip of ivory is attached to each side of blade with three or four circular rivets. Harpoon (d) is inserted into case on deck. Wooden harpoon shaft is oval in cross-section and tapers towards straight proximal end. Shaft flares towards distal end which is capped with ivory. Separate ivory shaft is attached with two sinew skin thongs threaded through two holes in ivory shaft and wood shaft. Triangular throwing borad is attached to one side of shaft at mid-section with two ivory pegs.

Rack for harpoon line (e) consists of an wooden oval frame supported on two wood and one ivory legs. Four wood props radiate from the central cross bar. Frame is attached to each side of cross bar with one or two ivory pegs. Bladder-float (f) is made from wood carved with fore and hind flippers. L-shaped wooden bladder fastener is attached with seal skin thong to each side. Sinew line is threaded with five white glass beads and terminates in an ivory harpoon head with triangular metal blade. Triangular metal blade is inserted into distal end of ivory harpoon head (g). Body flares towards two rectangular spurs. Dehaired seal skin thong is looped through lateral channel. Harpoon head (h) is made from a single piece of ivory with curved blade with two pointed spurs and two rectangular dorsal spurs. Dehaired seal skin thong is looped through lateral channel. Opposite end of thong is tied to form a loop.

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