University of Alaska PRESS

Book Detail

Book Cover

9.5 x 9, b & w illustrations, maps, glossary, bibliography, index

Format: paper

Price: $24.95

2004

Eastern Arctic Kayaks

History, Design, Technique

by Heath, John D.

Arima, E.



"The authors, both with in-depth backgrounds on the subject, do a sound detailed study on historical, present-day, and recreational kayaks...While the material covers a broad geographical area and hundreds of years of kayak-making and use in hunting and transportation, one i struck by the remarkable ingenuity of the design of the early kayaks; which has stood the test of time to be the basis for modern-day kayaks." Midwest Book Review

Eastern Arctic Kayaks is the product of years of kayak study by two of the world's experts. Combining analyses of form and function with historical background and illustrations of kayaking techniques, this volume is a storehouse of information for recreational kayakers and scholarly readers alike.

Drawing from his vast practical experience and extensive study of museum specimens, John D. Heath offers a comprehensive overview of the evolution and construction of Greenland kayaks supplemented with an illustrated series of rolling and sculling techniques. E. Arima examines kayaks of the eastern Canadian Arctic, covering woodworking tools, construction techniques, and the treatment of skins for the kayak cover.

Core chapters on Greenland and eastern Canada are accompanied by essential articles by Greg Stamer on the use of the Greenland paddle and two studies of kayaks in European museums by Harvey Golden and Hugh Collings. A valuable excerpt from John Brand's Little Kayak Book series makes this British publication available to American readers for the first time.

Lavishly illustrated with drawings and historic photographs, Eastern Arctic Kayaks is a landmark study in the history of watercraft--an essential resource for recreational kayakers and maritime historians and for anyone interested in northern Native material culture.

John Heath (1923 - 2003) believed that modern recreational kayakers could learn a great deal from the inventors of the kayak. His fascination with history and design led him to museums throughout Europe, Greenland, and North America, where he conducted research on all aspects of kayak structure and technique. Mr. Heath published countless articles in American White Water and Sea Kayaker and worked throughout his life to preserve knowledge of the traditional designs and techniques used by arctic kayakers.

E. Arima is a Canadian ethnologist working in the Arctic and the Northwest Coast of North America. During the 1960s he was associated with the National Museum of Canada Human History Branch (now the Canadian Museum of Civilization). Since 1975, he has been an ethnohistorian with Parks Canada. In addition to his studies of watercraft, he has worked on Inuit oral traditions of East and West Hudson Bay, Kwakiutl mask carving, and Blackfoot history.

Back to Top