Pacific Northwest, Inuit / Umiak, ca. 1900. Rare seal skin boat depicting a traditional fishing vessel for the "Eskimo" of the Pacific Northwest. Wooden skeleton covered in tightly strung seal skin tied with sinew strings. Size: 23"L.
The umiak, umialak, umiaq, umiac, oomiac, oomiak, ongiuk, or anyak is a type of open skin boat used by both Yupik and Inuit, and was originally found in all coastal areas from Siberia to Greenland. First arising in Thule times, it has traditionally been used in summer to move people and possessions to seasonal hunting grounds and for hunting whales and walrus. Although the umiak was usually propelled by oars (women) or paddles (men), sails -- sometimes made from seal intestines--were also used, and in the 20th century, outboard motors.
Provenance: Ex-Historia Antiques, Santa Monica, CA.
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