Good Day, Brave hearts!
Rise to the early morning need of daily sustenance. Your food awaits you in the refrigerator, the freezer, the cupboard, the pantry, the kitchen, the grocery store and the meal is cooked on the stove, in the microwave, the kettle, the oven, the coffee maker. Your adrenaline soars and your spirits rise as the smell of your morning brew awakes you, from Guatemala, from China, from Venezuela, from India, from Columbia, from Thailand and the brands are from other sources all world wide as our morning starts with international brews from all over the world. International trade has given us a boost to start the day and out of the house we go.
But wait, what did you say? The morning starts with the catch of the day? You rise at day break, but there is no dawn and you set out on ice flows to catch a fish, or a walrus, or a seal? You rise at whatever time your biological clock rouses you and you put on your mukluks and warm winter clothing and venture out to catch your mornings feast. The blast of cold air awakens instantly and the hunt is on.
The voices of fellow hunters call and the companionship that binds and protects creates the security of the small band.
Here in the far north the hunters pick up harpoons and kayak and prepare to enter the Arctic ocean, for the catch is just off shore.
4000 years of Arctic dwelling has left these experts to a life of fortitude. The craft, a kayak, is an invention of theirs, 4000 years of ocean hunting and 4000 years of kayak building.
The craft is made of wood, or driftwood, or bone with seal skin stretched over the shell. The paddle is made of wood or bone and the clothing of sealskin to repel water. The skin spray skirt keeps the water out and keeps the boat dry in case of capsizing. The famous and necessary Eskimo roll was first performed by these Inuit hunters.
The Inuit are the inventors of the kayak and have been using these specifically made boats for thousands of years. Each man has a boat of his own, made to fit him perfectly.
In an area so remote as Greenland, Baffin Island and the northern Arctic coastline of Canada, where these people choose to dwell.
Now, with harpoon and kayak, the great hunter can catch walrus, fish, seal and whale. The necessities of life.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTGGHBq5je8 A History of the Kayak and the Eskimo
Although this film is about Alaska, it gives a good depiction of the life of the Inuit, which would be typical of Canadian history as well.
Written by Dr. Louise Hayes
January 24, 2014