Synopses & Reviews
This slim volume, originally intended as a catalog in support of the only museum exhibition ever devoted solely to these nimble little craft, offers an accessible review of much of what is known about traditional kayaks. Even though the form has existed with remarkable consistency for at least 2000 years, the skin boats of arctic hunters now constitute an endangered breed; they are resilient at sea but fragile in storage, so perhaps at most 300 original kayaks, decked-over skin vessels with cockpits for individual paddlers, have survived in collections worldwide.
It is author Zimmerly's intent, as he tells readers in the new foreword to this reprint to help us learn from them before they are all gone. Writing from the basis of years of research, he reviews the construction of different kayaks from various regions of Alaska and Siberia, discussing not only techniques and materials in general but the special approaches of individual craftsmen. He shows how vessels' design varied in response to the demands of climate and availability of resources as well as the needs of hunters using them; he considers associated equipment, from paddles to paddlers clothing. The result is a succinct but authoritative introduction to the kayaks of Alaska, the Mackenzie River delta, and Siberia.
The story of Qayaq is one of the most enduring legends of Alaskan folklore, and this revised edition of the text by Emily Ivanoff Brown present the myth for the modern reader in vivid detail. Qayaq recounts the epic tale of the hero Qayag as he leaves his hom in Siilvik Lake and journeys across northern Alaska and Canada. Talking animals, supernatural gods, and Qayaq's many adventures weave together in this lyrical oral narrative, which took days or even weeks for actual storytellers to recite. Enhanced with a new scholarly introduction, Qayaq is a masterpiece of Alaskan folklore that shares the richness of Eskimo literary heritage.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 91-95) and index.
About the Author
Emily Ivanoff Brown (1904-82), known as Ticasuk, was an elementary school teacher who spent her life collecting Native oral histories and researching Native languages, arts, and culture.
Table of Contents
Foreword to the Second Edition James Ruppert, Professor of English and Alaska Native Studies, University of Alaska Fairbanks Foreword to the First Edition Esther T. De Witt Introduction Nunamiu Settles at Selawik Nunamiu at Siilvik Lake The Loss of Four Sons The Birth and Life of Qayaq Qayaq, Guest of the Giant He Annihilates Strange People and Animals He Encounters Many Oppressors A Perilous Trip Extermination of Spirited Driftwood The Evil Chief's Plot Extermination of the Evil Chief