Object photography

View of the artwork on display in 'Intersections: Native American Art in a New Light'; Peabody Essex Museum; 2006 through 2012.
Click image to enlarge +

Object description

  • Alutiiq (Sugpiaq) artist
  • Paitaalek (model kayak), about 1830
  • Wood, seal skin, sea-lion intestine, glass
  • Kodiak Island, Alaska, Northwest Coast, United States
  • L: 26 1/2 in, W: 3 3/4 in, D: 5 3/4 in (L: 67.3 cm, W: 9.5 cm, D: 14.6 cm)
  • Gift of John Coffin Jones, 1832
  • E7351
  • Figures in kayak are positioned to harpoon sea mammals, likely sea otters
  • Alutiiq term for a three-person kayak is "paitaalek"

This model kayak, acquired at Kodiak Island in 1830, realistically captures the details of its full-size counterpart. It includes three hunters wearing their hunting implements, rain gear made from animal intestine, hats, and visors. The boat's split, double bow made for an improved performance on choppy, open waters. Bifurcated prows are typical of kayaks fromKodiak Island, Prince William Sound, and Kachemak Bay.