The Kayak

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.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kayak

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

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The Inuit

Hail, you awesome human

To the great frontier of the far north. A call to the spirit of man, to traverse the land bridge and build a home in a land of diversity. To you the mighty hunter, surrounded by herds of migrating caribou. Their numbers in the hundreds of thousands of animals. Brave the elements, oh fearless fighters, to the call of the wild, to your own destiny, to the land of fur!
The caribou, always plenty, although now in decline, has served you for hundreds of years. Brave hunters, whose passions led you to the remote north, whose eyes spied the massive herds of roaming wildlife. Brave hunters with your sharp skills and agile bodies, keenly aware of the dangers that stalk you. The predators, the remote tundra, the climate, hunger and the deep chill.
So it comes to pass that the lifestyle of the remote and rugged Arctic, appeases the instincts of your fine survival aptitude. Aptitudes of daring, of athletics of hunting of settlement, of navigation, of founding new lands. A will to conquer and to be free.
Here in the remote Arctic, your skills are challenged. The daily bread is the catch of the day. Walrus, whale, seal, caribou, wildlife is plenty.

http://nides.bc.ca/Assignments/Nunavut/Inuit.htm

The far north, in the Northwest territories, where home is, to a growing number of Inuit, has a land of diverse landscape and animal life. The land, the ocean, the ice and snow, make this almighty human a man of his own making.
The Inuit, once known as Eskimo, are the aboriginal inhabitants of the far north. A land of challenge, but also of great beauty. Of hardship, but also of great abundance. A lifestyle wrought from living off the land, from hunting and fishing and having skills to survive. The inventive mind for making harpoons,for whale hunting, kayaks and igloos.
Thousands of years of habitation in the north, across the Arctic of Canada and into Greenland. The story of the Inuit is a story of peoples adapted to life of ocean seafaring and polar conditions. A story of people whose planetary niche is in the remote Arctic, where unique skills are honed to perfection to provide for a life of unusual adventure. Where the sea offers up its bounty of fishes and the land provides for endless hunting.
The sun has set on the land of the Arctic and the dark skies of endless night are upon them. Still, the dauntless human of this territory emerges the victor each spring.
Praises to you, the peoples of the north, for the habitation of the great land. Praises to you for your ingenuity and strength and for claiming your heritage in this nation, in that remote place and for the daily adventure of your skillful lives.
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
January 14, 2014