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Revisiting the Morris Bay Kayak: Analysis and Implications for Inughuit Hunting Practices before the 19th Century

Author(s): Matthew Walls ; Pauline Knudsen ; Frederik Larsen

Year: 2017

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Summary

The Morris Bay Kayak is a unique assemblage that consists of kayak fragments and associated hunting equipment that was discovered in 1921 by chance in Washington Land, NW Greenland. This paper documents results from a collaborative project with the Greenland National Museum to re-analyze and date the Morris Bay Kayak, and to consider how it fits in the current perspectives on Inughuit archaeology. Working with the traditional kayaking community in Greenland, the project reconstructed the kayak’s frame and life history, and then modelled the skills through which it would have been used. Comparisons of structural fragments and hunting tools with regional assemblages, along with new AMS radiocarbon dates, suggests that the kayak represents a local tradition of kayaking that was practiced until shortly before the colonial period. This paper will discuss what open water kayak hunting implies about Inughuit subsistence, and the sudden loss of the technology before John Ross’s arrival in 1818.


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Revisiting the Morris Bay Kayak: Analysis and Implications for Inughuit Hunting Practices before the 19th Century. Matthew Walls, Pauline Knudsen, Frederik Larsen. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429119)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -178.41; min lat: 62.104 ; max long: 178.77; max lat: 83.52 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15183

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America