In Nov. 1998 I helped Bill Wilkinson finish a qayaq he started
with Frank Andrew, his father-in-law. My part included
some woodworking and the complete skin sewing.
Frank is 82, an extremely
knowledgeable yup'ik elder who is very generous with his knowledge.
The qayaq was first launched in the summer of 1999. I was in Kwig
as a guest boatbuilder, working with Frank on the construction of a Yup'ik
Angyaq (umiak). Frank may be the last elder in this area to know about the construction
of these type of craft, which are not documented anywhere that I am familiar with.
None have been built in this area for at least 70 years. Apparently we snatched this one back
from the jaws of extinction.
Frank travelled in them as a child
and saw one being built when he was about 8 or 10.
His memory of the angyaq was impressively detailed.
More Qayaq Images from Kwig-
Double paddle in use, single paddle aft
Walrus tusk point of icepick just visible at bow
The angyaq awaits waterproof coating