Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Children are introduced early on to kayak making and training their boat handling skills. One must be able to roll a kayak before setting out seal hunting. If you cannot roll you will die. The boat is so difficult to reenter in the water that a wet exit is not an option.

Practicing bracing, balancing and rolling with the help of older, more experienced seal hunters. As soon as the kayaker capsizes he grabs the paddle supported by the other two kayaks to get the feel of bringing the boat back upright.

This might be a proud school group showing their combined effort, perhaps a school project.
A fine example of deck rigging to hold the numerous and various hunting tools. The fittings are made of bone while the rope is made of sinew or tightly wrapped seal skin. Note the bone edge on the paddle blade, intended to strengthen the edge against the ice. The deck riggings were iron clad. Anything attached would be held in position even during the roughest conditions, and were necessary for holding hunting tools.
The screen allowed a stealthy hunter to disguise himself as a floating bit of ice.
A proud hunter displaying a fine array of handmade hunting tools.

Another very proud hunter, an obviously skilled craftsman, eagerly looking to sea anticipating the hunt. Note the round device on the foredeck, intended to support the rope so it can play out without hinderance. It's made of a bit of bent wood, has a suspended net and is supported by three legs. The gap below and in front allows space for the smaller hunting tools. Even his storage rack is a well thought out and executed design.

In the next photo notice the inflated seal skin, used to float a seal kill behind the kayak. The round rope holder is clearly visible here.

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