Ilulissat Greenlanders kayaks, paddle, umiaq and summer tent

at the Knud Rasmussen Museum 1992

Gail Ferris

I visited Knud Rasmussen museum and Ilulissat/Jacobshavn Greenland my first visit to Greenland in 1992, I was accompanying John Heath and on my way to Upernavik to paddle my kayak in those mountainous fjords.


just so you can see the museum from behind with the church tower next to it

the museum was originally a house of Knud Rasmussen himself and his family

this is look out from Ilulissat to Disko Island over Disko Bay



up behind the town what the glaciated stone near the icefjord looks like



I found it very interesting to hike on this stone it is marine sediments metamorphosed into granitic stone now covered with assorted lichens.Some of this black lichen is a type of rock tripe


Here is a Disko typical classic kayak on the kayak club building

Note the very distinctive chine and the depth of the hull

The gunwale does not project out past the chine.

Note the hollow stern, this is to allow the water to shear off or detach from the surface of the hull giving this kayak greater speed



Here is another view of the same kayak as above showing the keelson

The skin has shrunk enough to pull the keelson upward

With a new less shrunken skin the keelson would be level end to end

There would also be a tie on skeg

The bow and stern is protected with bone along the keel and at the ends



the deck of this Ilulissat kayak



this is a drawing made by Mark Starr of a kayak at Peabody Museum Essex MA that has nearly the lines of the kayak in the photo above.



detail of the stern



detail of the midsection



detail of the bow



kayaks on racks used by club members



details of bow and side view same kayaks

kayaks are on right side 2nd 3rd and 4th in previous photo



another view of kayaks above showing cockpits



drawing Gail Ferris made of a paddle in the museum end




drawing Gail Ferris made of a paddle in the museum loom



umiaq on display 1992



an Umiaq frame on exhibition at Manitsoq



this is a specially made exhibition of a summer tent made of ring and harp seal

it is out in front of Knud Rasmussenís home in Ilulissat, the Museum

this tent would have been carried from the winter dwelling place

to summer camping areas in an umiaq