Umiaqs from Eastern and Western Arctic

Interesting photos collected

Gail Ferris



000 95 modern Umiaq designed by Cory Freedman Washington covered with modern fabric waterproofed with modern material painted on



001 Umiaq built in Aappilattoq under Grimís direction & museum kayaks on the water in 96 Upernavik



002 Ilulissat Museum Umiaq traditional Greenland local type covered with bearded seal skin



Umiaq from Little Diomede Island Alaska rebuilt under direction of Dwight Milligrock and used by John Bockstoce as he traveled the Northwest Passage starting in 1972 covered with split walrus hides

this design umiaq is used for the 20 mile open water crossingto Little Diomede Island stronger and faster under outboard motor propulsion than the traditional hard chine flat bottom umiaq Dwight Milligrock


showing keel with ribs junctured to the keel and skins to the inwales, width tensioners below seats Dwight Milligrock.The umiaq was chosen by Bockstoce for the northwest passage because it is light, flexible, very shallow draft of 2 feet, making it very seaworthy and when rolled up on the beach using inflatable boat rollers can be tipped on its gunnel to be used as a shelter.



specific design for open water crossings to Little Diomede Island not paddled abut under motor power, Dwight Milligrock



junction of rib into inwale ribs are at each foot of gunwale



detail of lashing of split walrus hides from the edge of the hide covering over the gunwale tensioned around the to stringer



detail of the ribs attached to the keel under the seat note the fittings are improvised of sheet metal.Note the tensioner beneath the seat to maintain depth of keel and width of hull to keep the hull from spreading



note the skin which has been painted by recommendation of Dwight Milligrock of Diomede so that the skins will absorb less water



on the water umiaq built in Aappilattoq Greenland off Upernavik



Umiaq for Upernavik celebration 1996 covered with bearded seal skins note the structure of the oars the lacing of the skin covering over the gunwales to the stringers inside and the dixi cup shape the traditional shape for an oar or paddle propelled umiaq and the traditional handles that are an extension of the gunwales.The oar locks are made of traditional hide thongs, may be walrus hide material.


inner view with oars of the Aappilattoq umiaq built for Upernavik Jubilee 1996


old and new umiaqs at Upernavik museum many friends of mine traveled in the umiaq on the left from Kangersuatsiaq/PrÝven to the inner fjords of Upernavik to hunt and gather berries.The umiaq carried everyone with their belongings for summer living with the kayaks across the gunnels.On returning if the dried meat such as musk ox meat dried and ducks and netted ammassat fish weighed too much the kayak paddlers had to paddle their kayaks home


reproduction Northeast Greenland umiaq from 1600ís at Manitsoq



Umiaq with sail up being rowed with whaleboat oars sail up Greenland c.1925



umiaq c 1925 underway down in the fjords possibly Upernavik area



umiaq just underway leaving rock ramp possibly in Upernavik area near Kangersuatsiaq and Laksefjord.Note the harpoons being carried upright the village is going out for summer hunting and fishing



whaleboat looking like an umiaq with kayak in tow and dog fishing net aboard for catching ammassat probably in the southern Upernavik area



a bearded seal covered umiaq at Barrow on Point Barrow used for hunting walrus skins are sewn by 6 or more women at the same time then stretched on the frame



umiaq frame in Barrow



umiaq frame Barrow these frames last for many years because there cold dry air preserves them from rot



barrow Alaska umiaq covered with bearded seal skins used for hunting walrus 1991 note the traditional hard chin shape



stern interior Barrow umiaq 1991