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Table of Contents
I. II. Introduction, by Shepard Krech III
Ferdinand Bach, Artist and Collector, by Barbara A. Hail "Some well-executed models of canoes with all their appendages ...": Souvenirs of the Age of Sail, by Mary Malloy Native Arctic and Northwest Coast Communities in Late Nineteenth Century Alaska: Boat Modeling as Indigenous Tradition, Tourist Souvenir, and Cultural Negotiation, by Katharine Woodhouse- Beyer The Bach Boat Models: Typology, Provenience, and Verisimilitude, by Iarrno Kankaanpaa
Kayak, Umiak, Canoe is made possible in part by a
grant from the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities, an independent affiliate of the national Endowment for the Humanities and in part by the Haffenreffer Family Fund.
© 2002 by Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, Brown University. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced without written permission.
Collection Photography: Rip Gerry, Principal Photographer; Cathy Carver, Cover, Cat. 1,2,9, 16. Design: Brown Graphic Services, Gloria Morales. Printing: Brown Graphic Services.
RHODE ISLAND COMMITTEE [or th e HUMANITIES
HAfFENREFFER MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY
Postcard titled, "Eskimo and his kyak." Bering Strait, ca. early 1990s. Courtesy Harvey Golden Collection.
his collection of essays, the first in a series of Occasional Papers of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, is published in conjunction with the exhibition Kayak, Umiak, Canoe, which opened at the Haffenreffer Museum in October 2002 accompanied by a short catalogue of the same name. The impetus for all three was the donation to the Haffenreffer Museum of nineteen model watercraft by Ferdinand and Beverly Bach HLI The Bachs selected the Haffenreffer Museum for their gift in part because it represented the kind of teaching museum that the collector, Ferdinand Bach III's father, wanted for his model boats. For us the gift presented an opportunity to fulfill the museum's foremost mission. The Haffenreffer has a longstanding interest in conveying to the public insights about the indigenous people whose material culture is its collections, but above all its goal is to involve studentsspecifically, Brown University students - in interpretation at all levels. Five former and current students have been drawn in by the larger project,
Kayak, Umiak, Canoe. After the collection came to the Museum, David Gregg, an
associate curator and graduate student finishing a thesis on firearms in northwestern Alaska, and with wide-ranging interests in the material culture of the region, was given the task of conceptualizing the project. He subsequently wrote a successful grant, but then the university administration could not continue his position and so with our blessings he headed off to direct the Spellman Museum of Postal History. At this point, Alison Fields, who had completed undergraduate degrees at Colgate in English and Native American Studies, and was a graduate student in American Civilization and veteran of a museum-based seminar and of teaching in museum education programs, took charge as guest curator. She is using this project for the final requirements for her master's degree in American Civilization. Alison Fields's principal roles are exhibition curator and catalogue author. In the latter she not only presents her own work but briefly excerpts the longer essays written by Barbara Hail and by three former students - all specialists in some aspect of this project - that appear in this Occasional Paper. Barbara Hail, curator emerita at the Haffenreffer Museum, is well-known for her many publications on American Indian material culture and collecting, from the Plains to the Subarctic. Her most recent published works are Gifts of Pride and Love: Kiowa and Comanche Cradles (Bristol, RI: Haffenreffer Museum
Large umiak underway in Nome Harbor, "homeward bound for King Island;' ca. 1900-04. Courtesy Kathy Tucker Collection.
Ferdinand Bach, Artist and Collector
erdinand Bach (1888-1967) was born in the village of Eschenz in the lake country of northern Switzerland, into a family of farmers, carpenters, and tinsmiths. He was educated as an architect and employed in that capacity in Zurich in 1916 when he decided to emigrate to America. He was drawn by the American promise of greater opportunities to express his artistic talents and enjoy the outdoor environment that he preferred. He went immediately west, evidently seeking a place from which he might gain ready access to the same type of lake and woods country that he had known and loved in Switzerland. He readily found employment in Detroit in the design and engineering departments of a succession of automobile manufacturers, retiring from Chrysler Corporation in 1956. From this prosaic but secure financial base he was free to pursue his deeper interests which, it soon became apparent, included the indigenous people of America and their artifacts. One means of pursuing this interest was an extended train trip taken soon after arrival in Michigan, through the Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming. Another was the purchase, in 1917, of a Native model watercraft collection from the Hudson Bay Fur Company of Seattle, Washington. From information apparently obtained through a mail order catalogue, Bach learned of a model boat collection in the possession of this company, and he purchased it in two lots, one in 1917, and the remainder in 1918. The collection consisted of 19 skin and wooden model watercraft made by Haida, Nuu-chahnulth, Yupiit, Aleut, and other northern Native people, 2 model totem poles, 2 woven cedar bark mats, 19 assorted paddles, and 6 model harpoons. Three letters from Moritz Gutmann, owner of the Hudson Bay Fur Company, survive to document Bach's purchase. Gutmann (1870-1931), also an immigrant, came to America from Munich, Germany, as a stowaway at the age of 14, and in 1903 purchased the Seattle store which had been founded in the 1880s primarily as a wholesale outlet for furs. It later established a curio department, acquiring ivories and other objects from its fur buyer in Nome, Alaska.' The period of collection for these boats was thus between the 1880s and 1917. According to Gutmann's grandson, in those days the company's traders also traveled along the coast of Alaska and British Columbia, exchanging canned goods and beads to Native people for the various items they wanted for their Seattle shop. Since the mid-nineteenth century the American public had been intrigued with the exoticism of northern Native cultures, and readily purchased examples of their intricate artisanship. Some of the model boats were probably created for this outside market, although evidence in archaeological sites proves that the tradition of miniaturization dates to pre-contact times.' Among the Aleuts it is said that such models were kept in hunters' homes to ensure their safe return horne.' The models were not new when the elder Bach purchased them. According to Moritz Gutmann, they had been kept together and intended as a museum collection. In a letter to Bach on August 15, 1917, he wrote: "This concludes our stock of wooden Canoes, as far as old & extra good Models are concerned. We congratulate you on having obtained our collection, for, not considering the cost, it is, in our opinion the only complete collection of its kind in existence & none of the models could be duplicated, excepting perhaps the Birch Bark. While we are very glad that these articles go to a gentleman who appreciates them, we were sorry to part with them, as we had kept them intact to present them to a museum, which was to be started here, but which, owing to the war, could not get the necessary support. We still have the Eskimo models & will make no endeavors
Ferdinand Bach III, at age 9, admires a two-man kayak (See No.2) in his father's collection, 1940. Courtesy Ferdinand Bach III.
of Anthropology, 1999) and the co-edited Collecting Native America, 1870-1950 (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1999), and she intends to turn next in her research to the analysis of Iroquois beadwork. In this Occasional Paper she expands on her well-known interest in collecting and collectors with a brief essay on "Ferdinand Bach, Artist and Collector." Mary Malloy completed her doctoral degree in American Civilization (under my supervision) in 1994, and subsequently published it as Boston Men on the Northwest Coast: The American Maritime Fur Trade, 1788-1844 (Fairbanks: Limestone Press, University of Alaska, 1998), as well as other works like Souvenirs
of the Fur Trade: Northwest Mariners Coast Indian Art and Artifacts Collected by American
I I thank not just the essayists for their contributions but Alison Fields for her curatorial work and Kevin Smith, deputy director and chief curator of the Haffenreffer Museum, for his yeoman editorial service on the manuscripts. I also wish to express gratitude, on behalf of the Museum, to Beverly and Ferdinand Bach 1lI for their generous gift and to the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities, the Haffenreffer Family Fund, and Friends of the Haffenreffer Museum for their support.
(Cambridge: Peabody Museum, Harvard University, 2000). She is on the humanities faculty of the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and is working on a biography of Capt. Samuel Hill. In her contribution for this collection, '''Some well-executed models of canoes with all their appendages ...': Souvenirs of the Age of Sail;' Malloy details that exchange of curios and many other aspects of transactions between Europeans and indigenous people on the 18th-19thcentury Northwest Coast. Katharine Woodhouse-Beyer finished her doctoral degree in anthropology at Brown in 2001 with a dissertation on Gender Relations and Socio- Economic Change
in Russian America: An Archaeological Study of the Kodiak Archipealgo, Alaska,
1784-1867. She has since published on historical archaeology and gender on Afognak, is lecturer in anthropology at Bryn Mawr College, and plans further archaeological investigations at Hog Island, Unalaska. An expert on the archaeology and ethnohistory of Kodiak and its environs, Woodhouse-Beyer contributes a substantial analysis of boats and boat modeling in "Native Arctic and Northwest Coast Communities in Late Nineteenth Centry Alaska: Boat Modeling as Incligenous Traclition, Tourist Souvenir, and Cultural Negotiation." Lastly, [arrno Kankaanpaa translated his University of Helsinki's master's thesis on kayaks for the research paper requirement in Brown's Department of Anthropology, then five years later completed his doctoral degree and wrote a dissertation on Thule Subsistence. Since then he has been visiting professor at University of Oulu (where he currently teaches a regular yearly course on Eskimo culture), has published several recent pieces on archaeology in Finland, and is currently working for the (Finnish) National Board of Antiquities on Neolithic sites while researching Eskimo collections in Finland, Russia, and elsewhere. With his wife, Tuija Rankama, he is also conducting surveys in northern Lapland. Here Kankaanpaa fittingly provides a catalogue of the boats in Bach's collection.
1 The small Hudson Bay Fur Company of Seattle was sometimes confused with the larger and more well-known Hudson's Bay Company of Canada. In 1943 the larger company took legal action, forcing the smaller to change its name (see HBCA, RG21 41 D/2), and in 1943 it became known as the Alaska Fur Company. The curio unit was closed out later in the 1940s and the remaining operations in the 1950s. See Kate Duncan, 1001 Curious Things: Ye Olde Curiosity Shop and Native American Art, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2000),33-34.
2 See Katharine Woodhouse-Beyer, "Native Arctic and Northwest Coast Communities in late nineteenth century Alaska: Boat modeling as indigenous tradition, tourist souvenir, and cultural negotiation." Model Kayaks, Umiaks, and Canoes from the North Pacific ill Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology Collections, Occasional Paper No.1 (Bristol, RI: Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, 2002). 3 Lydia Black, Aleut Art (Anchorage: A1eutianlPribilof Islands Association, 1982),107.
• Moritz Gutmann, letter to Ferdinand Bach, August 8, 1917. HMA Archives: Bach source file. Bach's library of over 120 titles included many classic nineteenth century publications on American Indian and Arctic peoples, among them works of Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, Francis Parkman, Elisha Kent Kane and Thomas L. McKenney. It is now a part of the Walter Havighurst Special Collections Library of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
Ferdinand Bach in October 1919 on the Au Sable River, Michigan during a camping and fishing trip. Courtesy Ferdinand Bach III.
One canoe is in the Michigan State University Museum and one is in Fort Michilimackinac at the Straits of Mackinac. with
Bill Holm, personal communication author, April 6, 1998.
8 Beverly Bach, video interview with author, June 21-22,1997. HMA Photo Archives.
In 1997, the Bachs decided to give their father's collection to the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, and donated all but the model totem poles in his name. The catalogue, this collection of papers, and the exhibition they accompany are the first public interpretation of this collection. Ferdinand Bach wanted his collection to be used for educational purposes and accessible to a public audience through display. His son says: "He kept the collection together through all the hardship years of moves, the Depression, and changes in his personal life, because he recognized in it skills no longer present. He wanted the collection to be used for teaching, to go to an academic institution where it would receive appreciation for what it represents, both in the life of the people who made the boats, and for the sheer beauty of the boats,"!" Because of the generosity of Beverly and Ferdinand Bach III, who cared for this one-of-a-kind collection in their home for decades, the life-long dream of their father is being fulfilled.
, Ferdinand Bach III, taped interview with author, June 22, 1997. HMA Archives.
10 Ferdinand Bach III, video interview with author, June 21-22, 1997. HMA Photo Archives.
to sell them as we prefer the entire collection should go to one collector. You need not be in a hurry about ordering as we will not offer these models to anyone else.'" What motivates a collector to seek out and care for a particular kind of object? More to the point, why did Bach purchase these model watercraft? For one thing, like a number of Europeans of the late nineteenth century, he had, as a youth, formed an admiration and fascination for American Indians and their way of life. While still in Switzerland, he had begun building an extensive library on the subject.' For another, he was an outdoor enthusiast who enjoyed boating and hunting. In fact, Bach was soon canoeing, duck hunting, and camping in the lake country of northern Michigan. Bach was also artistically inclined in a number of media, had studied architecture and drawing in school, and deeply appreciated the model boats for their artistic merits. Bach created an extensive portfolio of pencil sketches and watercolor renderings of northern waterfowl and Lake Michigan area boats. He was a skilled woodcarver who eventually became well known for his decoys of ducks found along the Lake St. Clair shores. And he was a student of boats, designing and overseeing the building of a number of sailing vessels. Much later he spent two summers in the mid 1950s in Golden Lake, Ontario, learning the art of birch bark canoe building from a Chippewa artisan, and made two canoes, both of which are now in institutions in the state of Michigan." The boats undoubtedly appealed to boat designer Bach because they replicated actual watercraft, both in materials and techniques. Although Native artisans did not use models as prototypes for constructing full- size boats, as is common among Euroamerican boat builders, these boats were almost certainly made by actual boat builders, who could remember the way a particular craft was built. While they are not accurate in proportion - for aesthetic reasons a model boat is generally scaled about one-third less in length as compared to width than its full- size counterpart' - they do utilize similar materials to those used in fullsized watercraft, they emphasize the features that were considered important to the builders themselves, and often the design detailing is similar. His daughter-in-law and son, Beverly and Ferdinand Bach III, remember Bach for certain traits. His daughter-in-law says of him: "When he first came to the U.S. he, as so many Europeans, was in love with an idea of American Indians, in a romantic way, as people successfully living in a pristine wilderness. Father was a practical man and understood the skills it took to live in this area. He thought of Native people as people of immense dignity, immense talent. He described the collection of models as examples of the 'greatest ingenuity.' He himself could do all of these things, and he admired the Indians for having the ability to create objects of practicality and beauty.'" His son characterizes him as a renaissance man, more typical of the nineteenth than the twentieth century, an avid reader, literate in several languages - Italian, German, Swiss dialects, French, and English - a man who "had the gift in his eyes, and in his hands" and who was "a free spirit, a man whose intensity of concentration shut out the rest of the world,"?
Cover of catalogue for the Hudson Bay Fur Company, MSCUA, University of Washington, UW 21177.
ca. early 1900s. Courtesy
"Some well-executed models of
canoes with all their appendages ..:': Souvenirs of the Age of Sail
':1\ numerous fleet of skin canoes, each carrying two men only, were about the Discovery, and, with those that at the same time visited the Chatham, it was computed there could not be less than four hundred Indians present. ... They instantly and very willingly entered into trade, and bartered away their hunting and fishing implements, lines and thread, extremely neat and well made from the sinews of animals; with bags ingeniously decorated with needle work, wrought on the thin membrane of the whales intestines; these articles, with some fish, and some well executed models of canoes with all their appendages, constituted the articles of commerce with these people, as well as with our Indian friends in Cook's inlet ... '"
en the two ships of the Vancouver expedition dropped their anchors on the coast of Alaska on that spring day in 1794, a frenzied exchange of goods began between the British sailors and the Native people who swarmed around them in their kayaks. Because the purpose of Vancouver's voyage was cartographic rather than commercial, there were few restrictions placed on the trade which individual sailors could practice; four men on the Discovery purchased examples of those "well-executed models of canoes," while a fifth sketched the scene and the captain wrote his description. Though few crews could match Vancouver's for universal collecting zeal, the interest in documenting voyages through the collecting of souvenir artifacts was well established by the end of the eighteenth century, and canoe and kayak models were among the most popular objects available on the coast of British Columbia and Alaska. By the time Ferdinand Bach began to assemble his collection in 1917, the creation, sale, and collecting of such models was a regular part of the commercial interaction between the Native people of the region and their maritime visitors. The sale of such miniature vessels to outsiders as souvenirs was certainly the principal motive for their production, but they were also made for Native use both before and after the arrival of Europeans in the second half of the eighteenth century. There is no clear agreement as to the pre-contact use of model vessels, though some were clearly created for ritual or ceremonial use and others were made as toys.' Carved wooden kayak models, two thousand years old, have been found in a Siberian cemetery, small kayaks made of flotsam bark have been found in archaeological sites on the Alaska coast at Utkiavik and Birnirk, and wooden canoe models were excavated from the Ozette village site in northwestern Washington State.' In historic times, the use of canoe models as toys among Northwest Coast Indian children is well documented. A photograph taken at Taku Harbor, Alaska, in 1905 shows boys and girls playing with a toy canoe, and Bill Holm reports that he has "seen Indian kids playing with toy canoes, model fishing boats, etc., often towing them along the shore with a string attached to a stick.'" Whatever their use prior to the arrival of European visitors, it did not take long after regular traders arrived on the coast for artisans to begin crafting model boats specifically for sale as souvenirs. At least four models were collected on Captain James Cook's third voyage to the Pacific, during the party's sojourn on the Northwest Coast in 1778. Two bowls, carved in the shape of canoes, with bird head prows, were also collected on the voyage.'
Captain George Vancouver 16 May 1794
Boys and girls play with full-size and model canoes in Taku Harbor, Alaska, May 25, 1905. Photo Edward. M. Kindle, Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey Photographic
collected were specifically intended for the new museums and some of the earliest canoe models are the best documented because they went directly into the collections of the Massach usetts Historical Society in Boston and the East India Marine Society in Salem:" Among the first American vessels to participate in the trade on the Northwest Coast were the brigantine Hope, which left Boston in 1790, and the ship Margaret, which followed a year later. Among the owners of these two vessels was Captain James Magee, who commanded the Margaret on her voyage. Captain Magee clearly left home with the intention of collecting artifacts during the course of his voyage, and very admirably achieved his objective. When the Margaret approached the Queen Charlotte Islands, Magee was suffering from health problems and when his mate took command it was decided to leave Magee ashore at Nootka Sound while the ship cruised north along the coast. The Spanish had a small settlement at Nootka Sound and Magee was their guest. While his ill health kept him from commanding his ship, it did not prevent Captain Magee from socializing with local people or assembling his intended collection, either directly, or through the agency of others. Certainly his position as master of one vessel and managing investor in several others gave him influence among the mariner population. Never regaining strength enough to assume command of his ship again, Magee decided to travel home as a passenger on the Hope. Under the command of Captain Joseph Ingraham, the Hope had already spent a successful season cruising on the Northwest Coast, taken a cargo of pelts to Canton, and returned to Nootka Sound. When Magee came aboard, the ship was bound home via Hawaii, Canton, and the Cape of Good Hope. Magee already had a substantial collection of Hawaiian and
Northwest Coast Indian souvenirs, and he found on the
Hope a kindred spirit in the young mate, Ebenezer Dorr,
who had assembled his own collection. Among the items that they must have compared during the long cruise across the Pacific Ocean were bracelets, baskets, bows and arrows, hats, capes, combs, clubs, paddles, fishhooks, harpoons, labrets, zoological specimens, and at least three carved canoe models. Magee had a large (48 inch) model from Nootka Sound; Dorr had two models - one of them from the Queen Charlotte Islands or the adjacent mainland on the northern reaches of the coast. Captain Ingraham is not known to have been a collector, but he was a fine artist and made drawings of the Native craft at Nootka Sound and the Queen Charlotte Islands. Though he placed his watercraft in situ in his drawings, it is possible, given that the models were on board the Hope, that his well-drawn boats were taken from the models rather than from observation of the full-sized vessels. In 1794 Captain Magee gave a large collection of artifacts to the Massachusetts Historical Society, including the "Model of a Cano" that he had acquired at Nootka Sound. A few years later Ebenezer Dorr gave his own collection to the same organization." The East India Marine Society in Salem received a Nootka Sound whaling canoe, complete with carved model gear, from Captain Nathaniel Silsbee in 1800, and a model of a Chinook canoe in 1825. There are ten other surviving carved wood dugout canoe models that were received by Boston-area institutions in the first half of the nineteenth century, and all of them originated on the Northern part of the coast, among the Haida, Tsimshian, or Tlingit. It is difficult today, given that many of the canoe styles are now archaic, to associate specific models with specific points of origin, and too little information is known about the circumstances of acquisition to place the collectors on specific vessels at specific times. But the fact that none of the later models come from Nootka Sound is evidence of a shift in American focus on the coast from Nootka Sound north to the Queen Charlotte Islands and beyond after the turn of the nineteenth century. By 1801, American ships outnumbered British vessels twenty-two to two in ports along the Northwest Coast, and their intense trading activity brought about a rapid and dramatic decline in sea otters in the region of Nootka Sound. Poor trade prospects led to ever increasing suspicion and eruptions of violence. Yankees sped north to find fierce competition all along the way. When the Atahualpa arrived at the Haida village of Kaigani in the southern part
A fifteen-man canoe glides by the steamship "Olympian" in Southeast Alaska, ca. 1880s. Courtesy Glenbow Archives, Calgary, Alberta, NA- 1807-68.
The influential scientist Joseph Banks, who traveled to the Pacific Ocean on Cook's first voyage (which did not reach the Northwest Coast), inspired a whole generation of British mariners to make collections. One of the known models from Cook's third voyage was acquired for the British Museum through Banks in 1780.6 George Vancouver and George Dixon, both of whom traveled with Cook, made significant collections on subsequent voyages. Dixon returned to the Northwest Coast to explore the possibility of developing a sea otter pelt trade. At Yakutat Bay in 1787 he wrote a description of both the large and small canoes of the Tlingits, and, noting that "their small canoes were neatly finished," purchased one as a gift for Joseph Banks.' Archibald Menzies made two late-eighteenth-century voyages to the Pacific, both under the command of men who had served with Captain Cook. When he departed from England in 1790 for his second voyage, as the naturalist and surgeon aboard Vancouver's Discovery, he carried with him written instructions from Banks on what to collect. On 16 May 1794, in the incident described at the top of this chapter, Menzies collected a three-man Pacific Eskimo kayak with three carved occupants and their gear, which he described in his notes as "a model of their Hunting Canoe completely furnished with all the Implements for hunting the Sea otter." This model tells much of the story of the exchange that took place at locations like Cook Inlet between the British, the Aleuts and Kodiak Alutiit - who were already much influenced by the Russian presence, and Tlingit Indians (who lived a short distance to the southeast, in the region where the Russians would soon set up their fort at Sitka). The three-hole kayak is generally believed to have been designed to accommodate a Russian passenger in the middle position, and the two surviving occupants of Menzies' model kayak, though wearing the gut parkas of the Aleut, also wear carved wooden hats in imitation of the basketry hats of the Tlingit. The high-ranking occupant of the rear hole of this kayak wears a Tlingit hat with several "potlatch rings." On the same day that Menzies collected his kayak model, his shipmate George Goodman John Hewett, collected a similar one. Hewett, who served as Menzies' assistant on the Discovery, collected a number of other models on the voyage. Four are kayaks from Cook Inlet (three one-hole and one two-hole), three are carved wooden canoe models collected at Nootka Sound, and the final carved model was acquired at the Queen Charlotte Islands." Midshipman Thomas Dobson, who was Vancouver's Spanish interpreter, collected a "two holed Canoe Covered with skin, with models of their difft. instrmts," and a three-holed kayak model described as
"uncovered to shew the method of buildg.?" The fourth member of this active crew of collectors, known to have acquired a model boat, was Midshipman (later Lieutenant) Spelman Swaine who collected a "Model of a NW American Canoe."!' There are early kayak and canoe models in European collections that have long since been separated from their provenance but demonstrate a sustained interest in the acquisition of these objects among early travelers to the coast. One model, at the Naprstek Museum in Prague, is said to have been collected by the Spanish Captain Alejandro Malaspina at the Queen Charlotte Islands in 1791.'2 Kayaks from the Eastern Arctic anchored important continental collections even in the seventeenth century, and the early interest of European visitors in the acquisition of North Pacific kayaks, models of kayaks, and subsequently canoes and models of canoes, may have been influenced, at least in part, by knowledge of those earlier collections. A Greenland kayak was in the collection of Wilhelm V before 1632. Another is prominently displayed in an illustration of the Copenhagen "Musei Wormiani Historia" of Ole Worm in 1655, and the British Royal Society had a kayak in its collection by 1681. 13 THE AMERICAN MARITIME FUR TRADE
By the time Vancouver and Malaspina were on the Northwest Coast, American ships were all ready beginning to outpace all competition in the maritime trade for sea otter pelts. Americans spent longer periods of time on the coast, and visited more villages than their European counterparts. Pelts, bound for Canton, were the primary goal, but ethnographic souvenirs quickly became an important secondary trade and among the earliest collected were paddles and models. American mariners were good observers of nautical technology on the Northwest Coast. They were particularly impressed with the architecture, production, and handling of the big dugout canoes, and regularly described them in shipboard logbooks and journals. They also recognized regional differences and even participated in the transfer of canoes from one location to another. Ralph Haskins, the supercargo on the Boston ship Atahualpa, for example, admired a "hansorne" canoe in the possession of a Kwakiutl Chief he called "Yackoclash" at Nahwitti in 1801, and purchased it with the "intention of carrying it to the Northward to dispose of" among the Haida, Tsirnshian, or Tlingit." Most of the American ships involved in the maritime fur trade were from the port of Boston, and the fact that several organizations there were developing "cabinets of curiosities" at the turn of the eighteenth century influenced the collecting habits of local mariners. Many of the objects
that entered into a New England collection were two oneholed Aleut kayak models acquired by the East India Marine Society in 1802. The donors were Captain Mayhew Folger, who commanded a sealing voyage to the Pacific on the Salem ship Minerva, and Clifford Crowninshield, who owned the ship. The Minerva never stopped in Alaska, so Folger must have acquired these models in an exchange with another seafarer, probably at Hawaii, from one of the American fur trading vessels. (A cousin of Benjamin Franklin, Folger would later gain fame when he discovered the fate of the Bounty mutineers on Pitcairn Island in 1808.) Captain Josiah Sturgis of Boston gave two three-hole kayak models, both manned and equipped, to the Boston Athenaeum in 1819. Made by the same hand, these charming souvenirs have three figures, all wearing gut kamleikas and wooden hats-the middle figure can be recognized by his top hat as a European passenger. Like Folger, Sturgis had access to the collections of other traders while in the Pacific, but was never in Alaska and this model must have been collected from other traders on the Columbia River, where Sturgis sailed in 1818 to collect a cargo of furs for the British Northwest Company. One of the kayak models in the collection of the East India Marine Society is actually described as having originated at Bodega Bay, the Russian fort on the coast of California. Received in 1829 by Captain A.W. Williams, it entered the catalog as a: "Model of a Canoe of the Kodiac Indians together with that of the Natives seated in it, from Bodaga, a Russian settlement on the N.W. Coast." Another, described as a "Model of a Canoe of the Kodiac Indians, with the Natives seated in it, from the N.W. Coast," was donated by John Coffin Jones, who served as the agent to a number of Boston merchants in California and Hawaii, and probably also collected it at Bodega. The only kayak model known to have been actually collected on the coast of Alaska by the person who later donated it to a New England Museum entered the East India Marine Society prior to 1821, the gift of Captain Thomas Meek of Marblehead, Massachusetts." Meek made numerous visits to Alaska. He arrived in Sitka for the first time aboard the Boston ship Amethyst in 1812 and entered into an agreement with Governor Baranov to carry Russian-contracted Native Alaskan hunters and their 52 kayaks to the coast of California. When he returned to Alaska in the summer of 1813, Baranov bought the ship. Captain Meek was hired again by the Russians when he came back to Alaska on the Brutus in 1817, this time to carry goods and men between Sitka and Kamchatka. Meek returned twice more to Alaska, commanding, in turn, the Eagle and Arab over a period of eight years. He was one of
the few Americans who regularly sailed the whole south coast of Alaska. THE RUSSIAN-AMERICAN COMPANY
Because they were actually resident in Alaska, employees of the Russian-American Company had easier access to the artisans who made kayak models than the transient explorers and fur traders of Europe and the United States. There are, consequently, more early kayak and canoe models in collections in Russia and Finland than anywhere else. The most active of the collectors associated with the Russian colony in Alaska was Adolf Karlovich Etholen, a Finn who spent almost three decades in Alaska, in the process working his way up to the position of chief manager of the Russian-American Company. Etholen first arrived in Alaska in 1818 and almost immediately began to travel along the coast, collecting geographical and ethnographic information and acquiring the first artifacts for what would become an extensive collection. He returned for a visit to Russia in 1825 and presented at that time a collection of Alaskan artifacts to the Turku Academy in his home country of Finland. This donation (which was, unfortunately, later destroyed by fire) included a "Model of a wood Aleut boat." In 1826 Etholen traveled back to Alaska overland across Siberia. Over the next ten years he made more than ten voyages around the Pacific, visiting ports in Chile, Hawaii, California, Siberia, and the coast of Alaska north to the Bering Strait. In 1832 he was promoted to "assistant chief manager," and in that capacity made a voyage to visit the Russian fort at Bodega Bay, California. Though he made two more trips home, Etholen spent the bulk of the next two decades in Alaska. In 1838 he was appointed governor of the Alaskan colony. He continued to collect avidly, though in his new position he was now more dependent on underlings to do the actual travel and collecting. He left Alaska in 1845 and returned to St. Petersburg in 1846. Etholen made four donations to the University of Helsinki, including at least three full-sized kayaks, two Tlingit dugout canoe models, and dozens of kayak models, including 27 from the Aleutian Islands. Many of these are so similar that they must have been made by the same hands. Most have occupants and all the gear needed to carryon the seal or sea otter hunt. In addition to the Aleut models, Etholen donated five Alutiiq kayak models." In addition to the built models and full-sized boats, Etholen's collection includes a number of walrus ivory carvings in the shape of kayaks. These often include hunters and equipment. Like their counterparts made as
of the Prince of Wales archipelago in 1801, supercargo Ralph Haskins found to his chagrin that the American ships Polly, Caroline, Dispatch, Enterprise, Lucy, Lavinia, Hazard, Litteler, Guatimoztn, and Belle Savage were already there. At the nearby anchorage of Tattiskey were the Volunteer, Hamilton, Mentor, Thaddeus, Ann, Brutus, and
various." In all, ten canoes came into the PMH collection from the Boston Marine Society or the Boston Museum, all in the northern style, of which three are designated as Haida, Tsimshian, or Tlingit. There were also fourteen kayak models in those early collections, although only one of them was collected directly by an American mariner on the coast of Alaska. The rest of them entered into the web of souvenir artifacts that were transported around the Pacific (sometimes with their Native manufacturers) and became available in places as disparate as Hawaii and California. Because the Russians controlled the trade on the coast of Alaska from Sitka to the west and north, Americans only infrequently had access to those stretches of the coastline before 1867. This does not mean that they did not have contact with Alaskan Native people, however. From the time the Russian settlement was founded at Sitka in 1799, Americans were visiting, providing needed supplies, and even, on occasion, selling their vessels to the RussianAmerican Company. Beginning in 1803, the Russians, recognizing the decline in pelts in their Alaska territory, began to contract with American captains to transport Aleut and Kodiak hunting gangs to the coast of California to poach sea otters in the Spanish territory. The expeditions that resulted were often impressive in their utilization of the compact space on shipboard. Captain Joseph O'Cain of Boston, who pioneered the trade aboard a ship named for himself, first met with the Russian Governor Aleksandr Baranov in October 1803, and after signing a contract, proceeded south with forty Aleuts, twenty hunting kayaks, and a Russian overseer, in addition to his crew, cargo, and supplies. The hunt was successful enough to be repeated the following year. In 1805, Captain Jonathan Winship took command of the O'Cain and again brought it from Sitka south to California with 120 Aleut hunters, 1000 pounds of whale meat to feed them, a dozen Native women to cook it, and 75 kayaks on the deck of his ship. The O'Cain continued in this business, running up and down the coast seasonally year after year for more than a decade. Other ships followed: the Peacock made similar cruises for the Russians beginning in 1806, the Mercury followed the pattern between 1808 and 1811, the Isabella from 1809 to 1815, the Katherine in 1811 and 1812, the Charon from 1812 to 1814, and the Cossack in 1817. Eventually, the Russians built a fort on the California coast at Bodega Bay, but they were perennially short on ships and consequently dependent on American assistance. The result of all this movement of men, boats, and gear explains the ready availability of these models in other parts of the Pacific than Alaska. The first kayak models
Even as the trade on the Northwest Coast was expanding both in numbers of ships and the geographical region that they covered, competition in Boston for the souvenir collections was also heating up. In addition to the Massachusetts Historical Society and the East India Marine Society, museums were being incorporated into new social and intellectual societies as they were founded, including the Boston Athenaeum (1807) and the American Antiquarian Society (1812). The Boston Marine Society, like its counterpart East India Marine Society in Salem, was an organization of master mariners who collected objects for an organizational "cabinet of curiosities." Though the Society was founded in 1742, it did not begin its museum until 1832, probably inspired by the popularity of its rival's famous collection. In the cabinet of the Boston Marine Society were six canoe models and about two dozen paddles, carved to accompany them. In addition to the "societies;' which nominally dedicated their collections to scientific purposes, there were a number of popular collections-generally collections of exotic oddities associated with theaters or other spectacles designed as ''Amusement for the Millions!"-as the Boston Museum described itself. Unlike the museums associated with the marine societies and learned societies, the Boston Museum, which was founded in 1841, was always a commercial institution, with roots in several other commercial theaters and galleries that had come and gone in the Boston area since the late eighteenth century. The Boston Museum also received the ethnographic collections of the Peale Museum in Philadelphia when it was dissolved in 1848. When the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology was founded at Harvard in 1867, it was becoming apparent that the fashion for "cabinets of curiosities" had passed. The maritime fur trade on the Northwest Coast was also long over when canoe and kayak models were transferred to Harvard from the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Boston Marine Society, the Boston Atheneum, and the Boston Museum, between 1867 and 1899. Specific records of donations to the Boston Museum and its precursors have not been located, so the three dugout canoe models transferred to the Peabody Museum at Harvard in 1899 have no information other than enigmatic references to "Canoes,
NOTES: Harry Humphrys' engraving of the scene can be found in George Vancouver, A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, and Round the World; in which the Coast of the North-west America has been carefully examined and accurately surveyed ... 1790, 1791,1792,1793,1794, and 1795 (London: G.G. and J. Robinson, and J. Edwards, 1798; reprinted London: HakJuyt Society, 1984), Vol. 3, pI. xiii.
de la Villa, El Ojo del Totem, Arte y Cultura de los Indios del Noroeste de America (Madrid and Barcelona: Museu Etnologic: 1988), p. 233. For information on and illustrations of the bowls, see Kaeppler 1997,262-3 J.C.H. King, Artificial Curiosities from the Northwest Coast of America: Native American Artefacts in the British Museum collected on the Third Voyage of Captain James Cook and Acquired through Sir Joseph Banks (London: British Museum Publications, 1981), 17.
by DOff as part of his col1ection. details, see Malloy 2000, 99-100.
17 This Aleut kayak model, which was entered into the East India Marine Society catalog as "A Model of a Canoe, used by the Natives on the N.W. Coast of America;' and clarified in a subsequent catalog as an "Esquirnaux Canoe," was transferred to the Peabody Museum at Harvard in 1869 and today is identified by the number 69-9-1011204. 18 Pirjo Varjola, The Etholen Collection: The ethnographic Alaskan collection of Adolf Etholen and his contemporaries in the National museum of Finland (Helsinki: National Board of Antiquities, 1990), IS. 19
Dorothy Jean Ray says that "model kayaks of skin-with or without the miniature model occupants and weapons-were apparently not traditional objects, although models made of wood served as shamans' charms or children's toys. Model umiaks of skin, however, were hung in ceremonial houses during hunting festivals, at least at Point Hope and on Kodiak Island. Lydia T. Black refers to "kayak models, made prior to contact as ritual objects;' and William W. Fitzhugh and Aron Crowel1 describe a canoe model as part of a "Tsimshian Shaman's Outfit [which] may have played a role in First Salmon ceremonies, although their use is not specifically mentioned in the rare accounts of the rites which survive." See Ray, Aleut and Eskimo Art: Tradition and Innovation in South Alaska (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1981),61; Black, Glory Remembered: Wooden Headgear of Alaska Sea Hunters (Anchorage: Alaska State Museums, 1991),95; Fitzhugh and Crowell, Crossroads of Continents: Cultures of Siberia and Alaska (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1988),239.
Geroge Dixon, A Voyage Round the World, but more particularly to the North- West Coast of America: performed in 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788 ... (London: Geo. Goulding, 1789), 173.
Ibid,210. Ibid, 274-8. Ibid, 243. Ray 1981,60.
King 1981, 102, pl. 30.
Erna Gunther, Indian Life on the Northwest coast of North America: As Seen by the Early Explorers and Fur Traders during the Last Decades of the Eighteenth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972),205-6; J.C.H. King, "Vancouver's Ethnography: A preliminary description of five inventories from the voyage of 1791-5" (Paper delivered at the Vancouver Conference on Pacific Exploration, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, B.C., 1992),24.
Georg von Langsdorf, Remarks and Observations 011 a Voyage Around the World from 1803 to 1807, translated and annotated by Victoria Joan Moessner, (Fairbanks: The Limestone Press 1993), Vol. 2,13.
Ibid,37-8. Ibid, 18.
King 1992,25. Ibid, p. 29. Centro Cultural de la Villa 1988,219.
David W Zimmerly,
Qayaq: Kayaks of
Oliver Impey and Arthur MacGregor,eds., The Origins of Museums: The Cabinet of Curiosities in Sixteenth and SeventeenthCentury Europe (London: House of Stratus, 1985),105-6.
Alaska and Siberia (Anchorage: University of Alaska Press, 2000), 3; James A. Ford, Eskimo Prehistory in the Vicinity of Point Barrow, Alaska (Vol 47: Part I, Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, New York, 1959), 157. Bill Holm says:" There are canoe models among the artifacts recovered from the Ozette wet site, and I believe they were toys ... canoes found in pre-souvenir days were most likely toys, with the possible exception of some shamanic objects that represent canoes (personal communication, 16 December 2001). • The photograph, taken by Edward M. Kindle at Taku Harbor, Alaska, in May 1905 is in the collection of the U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library in Denver (no. 100), and is reproduced in Wayne Suttles, Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 7: Northwest Coast (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1990),208. Bill Holm's observations were made in a personal communication, 16 December 2001. For information on Cook's models and an illustration of one in the collection of the Vienna Museum, see Adrienne L. Kaeppler ''Artificial Curiosities:" Being an Exposition of Native Manufactures Collected on the Three Pacific Voyages of Captain Cook, R.N. (Honolulu: Bishop Museum Special Publication 65,1985),277; Centro Cultural
I. Ralph Haskins' "Log of the Atahualpa," for 23 October 1801; manuscript and typescript in the collection of the Beinecke Library, Yale University.
IS For a description of the Northwest Coast trade, see Mary Malloy, "Boston Men" on the Northwest Coast; The American Maritime Fur Trade, 1788-1844 (Fairbanks: Limestone Press, University of Alaska, 1998). For a description of the col1ecting of Northwest Coast Indian souvenirs for Boston area museums, see Malloy, Souvenirs of the Fur Trade: Northwest Coast Indian Art and Artifacts Collected by American Mariners, 1788-1844 (Cambridge: Peabody Museum, Harvard University, 2000).
16 Unlike Magee's collection, which was listed in the Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 28 October 1794, Dorr's donation was described only as: "A valuable Collection of Curiosities from the N.W. Coast." Fortunately, Dorr had kept his own list in the back of his Hope journal, and it has been possible to reconstruct much of his collection in the records of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard, which received the bulk of the MHS collection in 1867. There is only one canoe model in the PMH collection today that cannot be attributed to other collections, and consequently is probably one of the two listed
This is, of course, a very difficult kind of rumor to document, but it is often repeated. Charles Miles, for instance, describes a model from Nootka Sound, as: "the southern form of northwest dugout canoes designed for saltwater use, showing the clipper bow which, it is said, was copied by the early New England shipbuilders." Samuel Eliot Morison says that the "concave lines of her bow above the water-line, a characteristic feature of the clipper ships, were suggested by the model of a Singapore sampan which Captain Bob Waterman broughthorne," but a comparison of any of the sampan models in early New England collections with any of the Nootka Sound models of similar vintage will definitely give the benefit to the latter. See Miles, Indian and Eskimo Artifacts of North America (New York: American Legacy Press, 1986; reprint of Chicago: H. Regnery Co., 1963),229; Morrison, The Maritime History of Massachusetts 1783-1860 (Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1921), 329.
miniatures of working vessels, these intricate carvings represent the details of Bering Sea kayaks. At least a dozen, collected by Etholen and his compatriots, are now in the Finnish National Museum. They include single and double-holed kayaks, with various forms of bows, and one umiak with five rowers." Etholen was not the only collector to donate such objects to Museums in Finland and Russia. The National Museum of Finland has five Aleut and five Alutiiq kayak models donated by other collectors." The Naval Museum in St. Petersburg has four kayak models said to have been collected prior to 1805, and the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography in the same city has thirty-two kayak models with provenances before 1850.22 The large number of models collected by members of the Russian-American company, and the additional examples which must have passed through their hands to Europeans and Americans, raises the question of whether and to what extent the Russians promoted their production. The practice was certainly widespread at an early date. In 1805, when the German physician Georg Heinrich von Langsdorf arrived in Alaska on the Russian expedition commanded by Adam Iohan von Krusenstern, he recorded the dislocation of many Aleut men by the Russian-American Company to "the islands of St. George and St. Paul, to Kodiak and even to the Northwest Coast of America on extensive hunting expeditions for sea otter, from which they usually never return to their families,'?' Langsdorf did not mince words when describing the enslavement of indigenous Alaskan men by the Russians: "The injustice and raw violence perpetuated by the assistant overseers and agents of the company go so far that the natives have lost all their possessions and own barely more than the clothing on their backs. ... In other words, the Aleuts have lost all powers to make decisions for themselves, even in the use of their time"> Though hunting was clearly the most important activity of Native men, Krusenstern describes the "fashioning of tambourines, rattles of bird beaks, ornaments, wooden hats, dishes and bowls with carved figures, little models of their canoes, etc.," as activities of secondary importance." The production of souvenir artifacts in the hours when the hunt could not be prosecuted served two purposes for the Russians: it replaced the usual activities associated with the family and village life from which the hunters had been dislocated, and it provided the. Native people with a commodity that they could sell to visiting Europeans and Americans that did not compete with the Russian-American Company's control of the fur trade.
END OF THE
As these models changed hands, from Native artisan to European or American collector to distant museum, how were they understood? It is unlikely that the second or third mariner in the chain of exchange, sitting on the deck of a ship in California or Hawaii or Canton, could know anything about the traditional manufacture or use of an Alaskan kayak when he swapped a plug of tobacco or a Polynesian club to obtain a model. And what did those New Englanders think as they examined the contents of the cabinets of the East India Marine Society or the Boston Museum? What could they make of those miniature skin boats with their detailed and whimsical occupants, or the well wrought hull and graceful lines of a Haida canoe model? There is no question that these models were admired for their technical prowess and inspired admiration for the larger vessels that they represented. The mariner culture of Boston and Salem could not help but ponder with wonder the seemingly fragile kayaks, developed for the harsh climate of Alaska and navigated in waters that were among the most difficult encountered by New England's most experienced mariners. More than just an exotic curiosity, they represented an impressive counterpart on the opposite side of the globe and an important mercantile connection. There / is even a persistent rumor in New England maritime circles that the sharp concave bow of clipper ships was inspired by the similar bow of canoes from Nootka Sound, which could easily have been observed in any of these models." What do we learn from them today, a century and a continent removed from the time and place they were created? In some cases, these models are the last evidence of watercraft that have since disappeared from the coastal waterways of Alaska and British Columbia, an obsolete technology now replaced by powerboats. They tell a story of travel by sea, of sea mammal hunting, of a coastline rich in cedar to the south but barren of trees in the north, of trade within cultures and across cultures. They have inspired new generations of canoe builders, seeking to recapture something of the old ways. Bach is a fitting link in the chain of collectors that began when the first visitor to the Arctic expressed his interest in boats unlike all the other boats he knew. These models have made a voyage to this time and place to represent, in mobile miniature, the culture and technology of the people who made them, the exotic adventures of the people who collected them, and the interest and curiosity of the people who have found information and inspiration in them through all the years since.
Native Arctic and Northwest Coast Communities in Late Nineteenth Century Alaska: Boat Modeling as Indigenous Tradition, Tourist Souvenir, and Cultural Negotiation
By KATHARINE WOODHOUSE-BEYER
Everyone [in St. Michael] attempts to make a canoe, but few are very good artists. Those that are, are so skillful that they may live off the proceeds of their workmanship
and are often very rapid as well as artistic,'
tifacts are not only products of an individual's access to natural esources, knowledge of technology, production techniques, and artistic design or intent, but are also thoroughly produced and conceived within a culture-historical and socioeconomic milieu. To understand the process well, we must examine the Ferdinand Bach model boat collection within the culture-historic context of Native communities and their interactions with the wider world during the late nineteenth-century. This was a time when Native North American Arctic and Northwest Coast communities were negotiating rapid social and economic changes brought by a new American government, an expanding world economy, and the continued Euroamerican demand for fish and furs. In this context, the production of model kayaks, umiaks, and canoes -like those in the Bach collection documents not only the continuation of indigenous cultural traditions, but also the development of reformed artistic traditions aimed at a growing North Pacific tourist market. Trade items such as these were exchanged between Europeans and Native North Pacific peoples as early as the mid 1700s (see Malloy, this volume), but it was during the mid- and late-nineteenth centuries that Native- made artifacts and artwork were first produced in large quantities for acquisitive explorers, missionaries, whalers, and traders. After the RussianAmerican Company sold Alaska to the Americans in 1867, prospectors, miners, educators, and museum curators created a market for "traditional" or "genuine" ethnic artifacts and art. Native individuals and families, willingly and opportunistically, supplied the rising demand for their traditional tools and ceremonial objects by selling household goods and discarded ceremonial regalia, as well as replicating indigenous goods in miniature to allow easy transport.
Group of Ifiupiat men. women, and children, shown with model and fuU-size kayak in Nome, Alaska, ca. 1903-1915. Courtesy Glenbow Archives, Calgary, Alberta, NC-I-70.
Alaska Peninsula and mainland as Pacific Eskimos on linguistic and cultural bases. Today, the indigenous people of the Kodiak Archipelago, lower Cook Inlet, the Alaska Peninsula, and Prince William Sound call themselves Alutiiq, while the people of the Aleutian Islands and the eastern Alaska Peninsula call themselves Unangan. These are the preferred modern names for these groups. The Aleutian Islands stretch 1,200 miles in an eastwest arc across the North Pacific. Treeless and windswept, the islands nevertheless are located in an area of bounteous maritime resources. Unangan communities first entered the archipelago more than 7,000 years ago, eventually developing communities based in year-round coastal villages with houses made of sod, wood and bone. When the Russians arrived in the mid-eighteenth century, the Unangan were noted for their fine, sleek watercraft (known to the Unangan as iqax [sing.], and to the Russians as baidarkas) which they used for traveling, hunting sea mammals, sea fishing, and collecting birds' eggs.' The Unangan also used larger skin boats (called baidaras by the Russians) to transport bulk goods and large groups, although ethnohistorian Roza Liapunova notes that the use of baidaras was rare after Russian arrival.' The Unangan had three types of baidarkas: one-, two-, or three-hatched. Bach model 1 (HMA 1999-31-5) is a replica of a single-hatched baidarka. This model incorporates a representation of a male hunter in a traditional gut skin parka and added design elements of black, blue and red shared by both Unangan and Alutiiq people in the Contact era. Because the skill of the Aleut hunters in sleek baidarkas was renowned, the Russian-American Company put the Unangan in virtual servitude in the sea otter hunt. Therefore, it was the baidarka, once the indispensable tool for Native survival that kept the Russian fur trade "afloat." Before the arrival of the Russians in 1762, many populous Alutiiq communities hugged the shorelines and coasts of the Kodiak archipelago. Like the Aleutian chain, the Kodiak archipelago is situated in an area of bounteous maritime and terrestrial resources. Forests of Sitka spruce trees, now common in the northern portions of the archipelago were initially sparse; Botanists have estimated that Kodiak was populated by Sitka spruce pollen only 500 years ago.' Sitka spruce and driftwood from "catcher" beaches provided ready sources of material for building houses, the frames of both kayaks (qayak [sing.], qayat [pl.]) and open-decked, umiak-like skin boats (angyaq [sing.], angyat [pl.j), and other objects important to Native daily and ceremonial life. Archaeological excavations at the Karluk-I site, on the southwestern coast of Kodiak Island, have provided a remarkable wealth of preserved organic artifacts, including wood qayat models with representations of male hunters as
smaller, removable "dolls." These have been dated to the Late Koniag period, circa 1450-1700 AD.sAlthough poor preservation precludes similar knowledge of organic boat parts in earlier sites, the presence of humans on the Kodiak Archipelago at least 7,000 years ago implies the use of some forms of watercraft. The Karluk qayat, usually no more than six inches in length, are ovoid and unpainted with pointed sterns and straight, pointed prows unlike the upturned qayak prows known from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The qayat are not hollowed out, save for a small hole for the placement of a stylized male hunter doll, often carved with a short visor or closed-crown hat. 6 Based on the testimony of Russian-American Company and missionary documents from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, these dolls and qayat may represent the toys of young male Alutiit. Hieromonk Gideon, a Russian Orthodox Church priest who wrote the first in-depth ethnography of the Alutiiq people after his visit to the Kodiak Archipelago in 1805-1807, noted that toys were not made by Alutiiq men to teach their boys adult gender-related tasks, but were woodworked by the boys themselves: ... the boys, beginning about seven years of age, instead of games are busy making spears, toy baidarkas and toy paddles. They throw spears on the beach and thus become accustomed to future hunting techniques. They help in putting up foodstuffs at the streams: Beginning with 14 years of age, the boys are trained in handling baidarkas. In calm weather they are taken out to fish and to shoot birds in the bays by means of spears. Beginning with 16 year of age, fathers and kinsmen include themin sea otter hunting parties.' Although no documents or traditions provide unambiguous supporting evidence, it might be supposed that these miniature qayat were also used in male ceremonial activities analogous to the women's ceremonies that used anatomically correct birthing and fertility dolls." Miniature qayat may also have been linked metaphorically to the amulets of wood and ivory commonly placed on qayat and hunting visors in the Historic period to ensure hunting success. The Karluk specimens also document that Native boat modeling was a tradition present well before European contact, and that it developed in the context of a society that relied on skin boats, not through the influence of contact period trade and the tourist art industry.
Qayat and angyat were essential to the survival of Alutiiq culture. Qayak and angyat frames were constructed, originally, from spruce, alder, or hemlock by male Alutiit using stone adzes and chisels. Alutiiq women scraped, sewed, and processed seal and sea lion skins to cover the qayat and angyat. Full-size qayat, angyat, and miniature versions of these watercraft, therefore represent the
Decisions by Native peoples to create objects such as totem poles, masks, and boat models for East Coast museums and collectors was not mandated by mercantile enterprises, such as the Alaska Commercial Company. Native people employed gifting, bartering, and trading as means to gain goods otherwise unavailable, to create political alliances, and to share cultural knowledge with other Native communities long before contact with Europeans. Later, when the Russian-American Company employed Native people to hunt marine mammals in conditions of near servitude in a growing wage labor economy, the continued exchange and trade of Native goods helped North Pacific people maintain their traditions of competitive trade and prestige goods acquisition. When the sea otter population declined rapidly in the 1830s, Native crews were employed in Bowhead whaling in the Bering Sea. When the whaling industry, too, declined in the 1870s, commercial salmon fishing became the next major industry to employ many Native communities, which struggled to survive in a wage economy thorough the final decades of the nineteenth century. Yet from an early date, colonial maritime industries did not permit Natives to participate fully in the maritime economy, nor even to maintain their traditional subsistence fishing and hunting practices. Likewise, from the early days of the Russian-American Company, indigenous North Pacific people were not allowed to sell their goods directly to other traders or other Native communities. Native peoples' time and efforts were to be spent wholly in service of the Company. Men hunted sea mammals at the Company's direction, while Native women were left ashore collecting berries, mending clothing, or processing skins for the Russian-American economy. The sale of Alaska to the Americans in 1867 represented further changes in the daily lives and routines of Native people. The transfer of Russian-American Company settlements, goods, and buildings was followed by a period of general lawlessness, the introduction of bootleg alcohol on a large scale, and increased indigenous unemployment. The Alaska Gold Rush, starting in the 1880s, did little to help the situation, as thousands of nonNative prospectors and miners flooded the region's towns and villages looking for employment and other opportunities. Consequently, at the time the Bach watercraft models were collected, the Native communities of Alaska and the Northwest Coast were in a state of deep crisis following a century of near servitude, depopulation due to disease, the introduction of Russian Orthodoxy, and changes in material culture. A new government, changing socioeconomic circumstances, challenges to traditional
leadership, and the death of elders and other culturebearers, such as shamans and midwives, contributed to a growing sense of cultural disruption, marked by losses in traditional knowledge and the abandonment of traditional forms of material culture. It was at this time, the 1880s, that Native Arctic and Northwest Coast communities and individuals began to mass-produce Native crafts and collectors' curios to supplement their wages and afford better standards of living. Boat models, like those in the Bach collection, were therefore products of Native persistence, agency, and rational decision-making in changed economic circumstances. While their traditional beliefs and subsistence practices reinforced images of primitiveness in Western minds, Native peoples were savvy and opportunistic businessmen and women who selectively accommodated new materials, technology, and ideas to exploit markets based on Westerners' interest in those same traditions and practices. Despite the use of modified materials and design forms, the production of tourist art reinforced Native customs by keeping the memory, and reality, of traditional crafts alive. While producing objects for the tourist trade, Native artisans reminded their communities of the importance of traditional spiritual and cultural beliefs. The following commentaries on Native communities at the time the Ferdinand Bach collection was made largely derive from published, translated accounts and documents widely available to anthropologists, historians, and ethnohistorians. These written accounts are mostly the products of White, often elite, men, and include explorer's diaries, merchants' logs, artists' illustrations, and government documents. Of great value are the many historical photographs held by historical societies, museums, Native Corporations, and the National Archives in Washington D.C. Clearly, our comments on this time period are limited by the fact that Native voices and words were often left unrecorded, and therefore what we read often represents a biased, partial view of Native daily lives and routines during a period of enormous socio-economic change. UNANGAN ALEUTIAN COMMUNITIES ARCHIPELAGO NINETEENTH COMMUNITIES ISLANDS OF THE IN THE CENTURY OF THE KODIAK LATE
The Russians termed both the Aleutian peoples, selfnamed as Unangan, and the Kodiak peoples, self-named as Sugpiaq, as "Aleuts." Subsequently, anthropologists classified the Kodiak peoples and groups of the nearby
manhole, to which the bottom of a waterproof shirt is tightly bound. Upon seating himself in the boat, the native puts on this shirt, tying it at the throat and wrists, and thus becomes as it were an integral part of the boat." If traditional qayak building materials were still available, albeit on a smaller scale, and if women still were able skin processors and sewers, it is likely that the building of qayak models by the Alutiit in the late nineteenth century, as demonstrated by a single specimen (Model 4, HMA 98-41-1), representing a three-hatch kayak, or paitalek,I5 in the Ferdinand Bach collection, may still have been a gender cooperative task. While we do not have existing sources or photographs of boat models being made by Alutiiq individuals, or sold by Alutiit to traders and collectors, written sources tell us that certain Alutiiq communities, particularly those on Afognak, were trading goods such as masks and qayak models, to travelers and collectors." This suggests that some Alutiiq communities or individuals were using the production of traditional goods, and also boat model miniatures, to supplement the wage economy of the salmon industry. The making of these boat models may likely have been a household, or village, economy, as it is today with Alutiiq artistry and craftsmanship. WESTERN NINETEENTH ALASKAN ESKIMO LATE
large sea mammals, and used all available natural resources as the raw materials for creating life's necessities in their often harsh northern climate. Eskimos fashioned skin clothing from caribou, seal, and bird skins, and manufactured tools from stone, bones, and ivory. Driftwood frames underlay the sod skins of houses and the skin covers of their watercraft. Throughout this vast region, coastal and riverine communities made and used large, open-decked, skin boats (umiak [sing. Ifiupiaq] or angijuk [sing. Yup'ikj), and smaller kayaks, closed skin boats with hatches for one or more individuals. Umiaks, used for hunting walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) and whales, especially the bowhead whale (Balaenus mysticetus), and for carrying cargo on long voyages, were made of driftwood or other locally available woods, covered with stitched, waterproofed bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus) skins. I? Umiaks were paddled by men or women seated on wooden benches, dragged along the shore by dogs or people pulling them with walrus-hide ropes, or propelled by the wind using simple sails that may have been inspired by Western ships (although traditional sail forms were quite unlike Western sail designs)." Umiak construction was less varied than that of kayaks, which varied, by region, in the design of their prows and number of hatches." The building of watercraft was a group effort. Umiak and kayak seal hide coverings, produced by Native women from the hides of animals killed by men, were stretched over wooden frameworks built by Native men. This complementary relationship between women and men, and correspondingly, humans and the sea, is highly characteristic of Eskimo communities even today. Although Europeans first explored parts of western Alaska in the eighteenth century, and the RussianAmerican Company had established several posts on the coasts and interior river systems by the 1840s, traditional Native culture and technology persisted strongly, with European trade goods and institutions incorporated only peripherally into daily life. The arrival of whaling crews in the 1850s promoted sustained contact with Americans and greater social and economic changes. A series of devastating epidemics, introduced accidentally in the 1870s and 1880s from the whaling ships, reduced much of the original population, estimated at 10,000 during the period of initial European contact." High mortality among elders and the very young led to generational losses of traditional knowledge, which were exacerbated by the establishment of government facilities and mission schools whose activities eroded Native cultural bases by replacing Native political structures, discouraging the teaching of Native languages, and attempting to replace traditional Native spiritual beliefs with Christian practices. At the beginning of the twentieth century, European and American markets for
IN THE CENTURY
The Eskimo communities of western Alaska also depended on skin boats for transportation and subsistence support. These societies are divided by anthropologists and Native communities, alike, into two major groupings based on shared language and cultural similarities. These groups - the Ifiupiat of northwestern and Arctic Alaska and the Yupiit of southwestern Alaska's Bering Sea coast - share a linguistic boundary in Norton Sound. Of far more importance to daily life than these linguistic groups were the regional societies whose names generally combined a geographical name and the suffix -miut, meaning, "the people of." (e.g. Nunivagmiut, "the people of Nunivak"). Trade, travel, and intermarriage between these communities were facilitated by watercraft. Not surprisingly, therefore, watercraft design and stylistic variations flow gradually into one another across this region, revealing both local differences and shared regional cultural similarities. Watercraft are essential in this region. The Bering Sea dominates much of coastal Alaskan life while two major rivers, the Yukon and the Kuskokwim, reach far into the interior. The Eskimo who occupied this region subsisted by fishing for salmon, collecting shellfish, hunting caribou and
Group of Inupiat boys playing with kayak in Grantley Harbor, Teller, Alaska, ca. 1903-1915. Courtesy Glenbow Archives, Calgary, Alberta, NC-J-369.
products of gender-complementary work. Stereotypical associations of qayat with the male technological domain should consequently be replaced by perspectives that recognize the roles played by Native women. If work on fullsized boats provides an accurate model, women may also have contributed to Native boat modeling in North Pacific communities by preparing, smoking, stretching, and sewing the skins used to make the models. The Kodiak archipelago was a major hub of late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century mercantile activity due to the influence of the Russian-American Company. Under Russian colonial rule in the late eighteenth century, male A1utiit between the ages of 15 and 50 hunted sea otters and other marine mammals for as many as seven to ten months each year! Despite crippling losses of men in this service, years of epidemic disease, village relocations, and virtual servitude, A1utiiq traditional knowledge, subsistence, and artistic expression persisted, in transformed form and style, to the present day. Qayak models made and given or traded to Russian officers and missionaries in the early nineteenth century appear to continue traditions documented through archaeological research into the preContact period. Some of these Russian period models, now in major museum collections around the world, form an important bridge between the past and the present.'? After the sale of Alaska to the Americans in 1867, a new era shifted toward the employment of male A1utiit on whaling crews or in salmon canneries. Lieutenant Eli Lundy Huggins was sent to Kodiak during the early years of American rule, along with other members of the Army, to ensure that Native peoples received protection from European and American settlers and traders, as well as other Native groups. Lieutenant Huggins' diaries and letters provide a view of A1utiiq life at the end of the nineteenth century."
At the time of Huggins' writing, the once populous A1utiiq people were reduced to merely 4,000 in the entire archipelago. American period industries on Kodiak included the continuation of sea mammal hunting in the form of sealing, albeit on a smaller scale, ice procurement, cannery work, and lumbering. The A1utiit, wage earners under the former Russian-American Company, were held to new daily routines and productive quotas." In the main settlement of Kodiak, the total population numbered approximately 400.'3 Many of these were Russians, Americans, and Creoles born of intermarriage between Russian men and A1utiiq women. Huggins recorded that the A1utiiq population, while dispersed around the archipelago in small communities and decimated by epidemics from the 1830s through 1860s, still built and traveled in qayat. A lengthy quotation from Huggins' writing describes the qayak's construction and use in the late nineteenth century: They seldom walk for any considerable distance, but travel in their skin boats or bydarkas. The bydarka, so called from a resemblance to a shellfish of that name, is of the same material (a light wooden frame covered with sealskin) but of a different shape from the kyak now usually spelled kayak of the Greenlanders and Esquimaux. Its outward appearance in color and form is that of a mammoth cigar from twelve to twenty feet long and from fourteen to twenty inches deep, a little turned up at the stem and flattened on top. In the upper side are from one to three (never more than three) round holes each just large enough for a man to it in. When there are more than one of these holes they are equidistant from each other and from the ends of the bydarka. The native sits on the bottom, with nothing but the skin boat covering, or if he is wealthy and luxurious, a bear skin in addition, between him and the sea. A hoop is fastened around the top of the
Palraiyuk imagery appears, as well, on a Norton Sound two-hatch kayak model in the Bach collection. This model, (Model 2, HMA 1999-314) is manned by two hunters, both wearing the waterproof gut skin parkas that were instrumental in hunting sea mammals successfully. Another Norton Sound kayak model in the collection (Model 3, HMA 97-34-1) depicts a male hunter wearing a parka with fur hood. Two ivory spear guards on the kayak bow are carved in the forms of a bearded and a ringed seal, reflecting Yup'ik and Iriupiaq concerns to honor the spirits (inua) of the animals they hunted." Hunting amulets intended to honor marine mammals were generally made of ivory or whalebone, not from terrestrial mammal parts, as a symbolic association with pre-Contact roots noted in both ethnographic and archaeological collections.
as emblems of prestige, sped the progress of war, and allowed all groups to harvest the bounties of the sea and the rivers in their territories .. Northwest Coast groups shared similar forms of social organization, including the division of their societies into paired sub-groups, or moieties (frequently symbolized by zoomorphic emblematic totems, e.g. Raven and Eagle), the further division of these moieties into matrilineal corporate groups (lineages and clans), and a hierarchical social order that regulated social and ritual behavior within and between these corporate groups. Northwest Coast villagers lived in large, gabled, cedar plank houses, often twenty by thirty feet, or larger, housing as many as forty people who were members of a single lineage. These villages, located on beaches where canoes could easily land, surrounded by towering forests of cedar and pine, were headed by local chiefs, generally selected by descent from a previous chief, but with popularity, ability, wealth, and ritualized generosity also important determinants of a chief's authority. Chiefs employed symbols of wealth, such as stocks of dried salmon, abalone and dentalium shells, intricately woven Chilkat robes, carved cedar storage boxes, slaves, and other objects to demonstrate their power, secure alliances, and honor ancestral spirits for the perceived good of all the society's members. These prestige goods - obtained through canoe-borne trade - and stockpiled fish and seal oil- obtained by canoe-based fishing and maritime hunting - were given away and consumed in great quantities at potlatches, feasts undertaken by chiefs and their clans to commemorate important life-defining events (succession to office, the death of a clan member, a marriage, birth, naming) and to demonstrate their own wealth and authority. Guests at these feasts were invited from allied villages up and down the coast, arriving in open-decked canoes. Watercraft were, therefore, essential to the production and reproduction of Northwest Coast societies. Woodworking was considered a high art among the Northwest Coast groups. Intricately carved and painted decorations on longhouses, storage boxes, totem poles, and dugout canoes displayed the totemic crests of the families, lineages, and clans who owned them. Each lineage had rights to use certain economic resources, to give their children specific names, to recite important myths and legends, to perform their own dances and songs, and to employ their emblems as crests in tattooing, carving, and painting. Objects covered in these distinctive Northwest Coast designs were highly coveted by Western merchants and museum collectors, and quickly became popular items of the Alaskan and Canadian tourist trade.
Eskimo boat models from the Bering Sea and Pacific coasts of Alaska, dating from the late nineteenth century, also show the great care paid by Native artisans in representing the intrepid navigators of kayaks. This is evident not only in the representation of the faces of Native people, commonly male, incorporated in their models, but also in the details of boat construction and decoration that they reproduced for outside markets and personal pride." Boat models made for the tourist trade often included colorful yarns, cloth, and fur as accents." Their dominant colors, commonly red, blue, and black, are also known from historical accounts and archaeological excavations as the preferred colors for glass beads and painted masks and reflect both their cosmological significance to Native Alaskans and their culturally shaped aesthetic preferences. Therefore, despite the transformation of boat models from toys to market commodities, Eskimo traditions of decoration and design persisted well into the late nineteenth century, and persist, today, into the resurgent Native arts movements and the modern tourist trade. NORTHWEST COMMUNITIES NINETEENTH CHAH-NuLTH, COAST NATIVE LATE
IN THE CENTURY HAIDA,
The Northwest Coast, an area ranging from southeastern coastal Alaska to southern British Columbia, was settled at least 10,000 years ago. This North Pacific region was marked by prolific salmon runs, bounteous marine life, and a wide range of wild terrestrial plants and animals. For at least the past 2,000 years, northern Native Northwest Coast groups, such as the Haida, Tsimshian, and Tlingit, were in close contact with one another through seaborne interactions made possible by the use oflarge oceangoing canoes. Canoe travel facilitated trade, feasting, and intermarriage, made it possible to trade exotic goods valued
whale products waned, as over-hunted whale stocks declined, and Native communities whose men were employed as crewmen on the whaling ships were challenged to make their daily lives within an increasingly capitalistic American society. Colored pencil drawings done by adolescent Natives of Norton and Kotzebue Sound in the 1890s, detailed ethnographic reports by Nelson and Murdoch, and a wealth of contemporary photographs and postcards from Alaska document a vibrant, mixed economy combining whaling, caribou hunting, small animal trapping, service to White communities, and even reindeer-herding (introduced by Reverend Sheldon Jackson) as major subsistence activities in Native communities of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries." Despite the obvious impacts of Western society, these varied views of Native society document the continuation of traditional ceremonies, the maintenance of indigenous forms of social life and leadership, the retention of traditional forms of clothing and adornment, and the maintenance of centuries-old technologies and subsistence practices, including the use of kayaks and umiaks in the hunt and in daily life. Of growing importance to Native communities weathering this challenging period of contact and change was the production of crafts that were highly coveted by whalers, explorers, museum collectors, and tourists. Evidence of this growing industry is documented in numerous travel journals and diaries kept by those who ventured north. Iohan Jacobsen," and Drs. Aurel and Arthur Krause," noted Native manufacture of goods specifically for the tourist market, rather than internal consumption. Eskimos' experiences with whaling crews and merchants taught them what visitors wanted to take home from Alaska - objects representative of Native life, particularly hunting equipment, ivory carvings, wooden masks, and miniature boats easily transportable from remote locations to European or American homes and curiosity cabinets. Iohan Jacobsen, a collector for the Berlin Museum, traveled in Alaska from 1881-1883. Jacobsen often sent messengers to herald his arrival, but soon found that the Native inhabitants were more than savvy artisans and traders. Arriving at Kajuktulik, near Kotzebue Sound, in January 1883, Jacobsen wrote: "My first purchase proved to me that one had to examine each piece carefully, for I bought a pretty pipe of greenstone that was not nephrite and a labret that proved to be colored glass.'?" After nearly half a century of sustained interaction with Western groups, and centuries of pre-contact trade fairs, the Eskimos of western Alaska were well aware of the market value of their pieces and were already well acquainted with
professional collectors keen on acquiring ethnological specimens to fill East Coast and European museums: The people were very aggressive and asked high prices and did not bring out as many objects as I had been given to understand would be forthcoming. It seems that many of the objects of this type had already been purchased by Eskimo traders who took them to Fort Saint Michael where Mr. Nelson bought them for the Smithsonian' Institution." Knowing that Western buyers desired objects suggesting antiquity or traditional use, Native artisans deliberately crafted objects to appear older: Here [Dakketkjeremiut, a village on the Yukon River] my lucky period of collecting began, for in the villages of the lower Yukon there was much more to be found. I especially bought stone knives and axes. It was here I discovered the fake reproductions the Eskimo made by carving stone knives of soft stone and boiling them in oil to make them look 01d.'6 In addition to the masks, toolkits, and household utensils collected by Jacobsen, Nelson, and others, Eskimo men produced model boats for tourist consumption and museum display. Jacobsen, traveling in Anvik (an Ingalik Athapaskan village on the Yukon River), noted: "Especially fine and useful are the canoes made of birch bark by the Ingalik. I have bought two models of these canoes for a special purpose for the Berlin Museum."" Model 19 (HMA 2000-14-6) in the Bach collection, an Athapaskan bark canoe model, may be similar to those described by Jacobsen and demonstrates the availability of these interior models even to companies, such as the Hudson Bay Fur Company, that had their main bases on the coast, near Yup'ik and Ifiupiaq communities. Other items represented in the Bach collection include three Yup'ik umiak models 6, 7, and 8, which are faithful replicas of this watercraft type. Model 6 (HMA 1999-31-1) includes a representation of a bearded seal painted on the umiak seat. Bearded seals were one of the most important resources in traditional subsistence, and therefore their images were popular charms for hunting success. A second umiak, Model 8 (HMA 1991-31-11), depicts the palratyuk, a mythical monster who lived in the lakes and streams and ate people, an image common in the Yukon and Kuskokwim delta region." All of the Bach umiaks have painted red and black designs, which may not have been merely decorative, but also functional, holding ritual significance or displaying the ownership of particular boats. Paddles were also decorated with ownership marks or animal designs."
northern coast of British Columbia, while the Kaigani Haida currently live north of the Dixon Entrance, on Prince of Wales and Dall Islands, Alaska. The Tlingit occupied the area from Yakutat Bay to the Portland canal, north of the Haida. Tlingit communities were first visited by Captain Cook in the 1780s, and decades later the Russian-American Company established a major fort and settlement at Sitka, in their midst. For the Russians, Tlingit groups posed the greatest resistance to Russian occupation and colonization and were considered independent Natives. The Haida, strong and relatively isolated in their mountainous islands, also maintained a considerable degree of independence from direct Western encroachment. Both of these societies excelled at woodworking, using stone mauls, adzes, chisels and wedges, as well as smaller bone and shell tools to intricately carve household items and ceremonial regalia. Haida and Tlingit woodworking techniques expanded with the introduction of Euroamerican metal tools, which allowed filler carving and the addition of intricate design elements. Wooden objects, including canoes, were often covered with brightly painted, relief-carved, zoomorphic crests. The animal subjects of these crests constituted a virtual language in which an owner's rank, lineage, and privileges could be displayed on nearly all carved and painted wooden objects, including storage boxes, masks, totem poles, and canoes. As such, decoration on objects reflected, as well as maintained, Native social identity. The Haida and Tlingit had two kinds of canoessmaller ones designed for daily activities and larger canoes used for ocean-going travel and warfare. Through longdistance trading ventures, the Tlingit exchanged mountain goat Chilkat blankets, copper plates, and horn spoons and ladles for Nuu-chah-nulth canoes and dentalium shells, as well as Haida cedar bark skirts, capes, mats, and canoes. Due to the extensive trade and interaction among these groups, it is frequently difficult, or even impossible, to ascertain the origins and histories of museum specimens, such as those in the Bach Collection, without detailed accounts of their first acquisition from Native traders. Therefore, although several of the Bach Collection boats (Models 9, 12, 17, and 17) have been identified as "Haida" it is possible that they were made, used, or traded by Haida, Tlingit, or even Tsimshian people before reaching western hands. The Haida were especially well known in the nineteenth century for hewing large canoes out of red cedar during the autumn and winter months; the red cedar stands on their archipelago were known as the largest trees in the region. Canoes were made from the hollowed-out
logs using adzes, wedges, and chisels. Sometimes controlled fire shaped the interior of the craft, and other times heated stones were added to water to soften and expand the sides. Separate bow and stern pieces were added later. Men learned to make these prized canoes from their maternal uncles, who, in this matrilineal society, were responsible for training their nephews in their lineages' traditions. Canoemaking was a highly-skilled art form and was passed down within lineages as a highly-regarded profession, afforded great prestige. Haida canoes were highly coveted among the northern Northwest Coast groups, and formed valuable objects in Native coastal trade through the late nineteenth century. War and transportation canoes, known as "head canoes" for their projecting prows painted with the crests of chiefs," were soon adorned with rigging and sails of cedar bark mats or canvas after European contact in the late eighteenth century. From the 1870s onward, in response to growing western pressures and opening western markets, Tlingit and Haida artists carved argillite totem poles and smaller models of their traditional canoes for sailors, traders, missionaries, and museum collectors. This income supplemented their meager living wages after the decline of the sea otter hunt. Haida women also supplemented their families' incomes with the sale of basketry. Iohan Jacobsen stopped at Port Essington, on the Skeena River, 40 miles from Haida territory in 1881 and wrote: . Mr. Cunningham, who lives at Port Essington, gave further indication of his kindness by not only trying to arrange this passage [to the Queen Charlotte Islands 1 for me but also inviting me to stay at his house until I could leave, and I increased my collections considerably during my visit. Otherwise I would not have had much chance at Port Essington, because the majority of the Tsimshian there had become Christians and were no longer using their original and interesting ethnological pieces. Here Mr. Cunningham helped from his store, where he had pieces that dated from the "good old days" and sold me, among other things, some handsomely carved women's dance masks, a few stone axes, utensils, and silver bracelets and earrings, as well as model totem poles, some of wood, others of stone, about three to four feet tall ... 35 Miniature specimens were quick to make, and did not require as much attention to detail as did the larger, functional items known and used in traditional Northwest Coast villages and communities. Late nineteenth-century Haida boat models, such as two displayed in the Bach collection (12, 14), were often carved and painted with black, red, and blue forrnline designs, particularly on the prow and stern. Haida and Tlingit canoes typically have a solid black-painted, or plain, panel on the canoe sides."
However, like other Native groups in the late nineteenth century, Native communities on the Northwest Coast were adversely affected by Western expansion and its attendant social and economic policies. Native chiefs' authority and shamans' powers were limited by government officials, missionaries, and new converts willing to suppress ancient traditions. Roman Catholic and Protestant missionaries sought to efface Native culture by outlawing shamanism and potlatching, while the American government moved Native peoples onto reservations and passed legislation that ceded traditional Native lands into government and private ownership. Native peoples, faced with challenges to survive in the changing social and economic landscape, marketed their traditional goods, selling authentic items to merchants, sailors, and scientists, as well as carving and painting objects intended solely for sale to outsiders in traditional styles. Many Northwest Coast communities were resilient in the face of the rapid social and economic changes wrought, from the late eighteenth century onwards, by American and Canadian expansion into their lands. The self-named Nuuchah-nulth (formerly called Nootka) of the east coast of Vancouver Island were visited from the late eighteenth century onwards by Europeans and accommodated well to the changing economic conditions, despite devastating population losses estimated at nearly 95% due to introduced diseases. Missionaries encouraged the Nuuchah-nulth to abandon their large planked houses for European-style residences, and masked dances and potlatches were made illegal from 1884-1951, yet traditional beliefs and daily life continued, beneath the westernized surface and in isolated communities. In the nineteenth century many Nuu-chah-nulth men were employed by the Russian-American Company as sea otter hunters. Other Nuu-chah-nulth chose to work on commercial sealing schooners and in the whaling fleets. Into these positions the Nuu-chah-nulth brought their own hunting equipment, including their traditional canoes. Nuu-chah-nulth canoes were not as highly ornamented as those of other Northwest Coast groups and had a distinctive squared stern and projecting "shovel" -like bow. The Nuu-chah-nulth plied the waters of Nootka Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca in these canoes, hunting seals, sea lions, and whales. The whale hunt employed these large canoes in the open water and was not only a tremendous source of food but also a validation of chiefly power and lineage prestige. The canoe, as conduit of chiefly authority, was built, maintained, and surrounded by a large body of lore and ritual. During the late nineteenth century, Nuu-chah-nulth participated in a wide range of western industries as
maritime-based hunting waned. These included commercial fishing, lumbering, working in hop fields, and producing traditional crafts for sale. The introduction of European tools made craft production faster. European and American museum collectors visited Nuu-chah-nulth villages by canoe to purchase women's baskets, wooden masks, bent-wood boxes, and models of totem poles and canoes. Native craftsmen soon were able to negotiate better prices for their crafted goods and sold many of these pieces to local store traders from the nearby, developing commercial centers of Seattle and Vancouver. The Bach collection has three canoe specimens identified as Nuu-chah-nulth (Models 13, 15, 16). Models 15 (HMA 98-41-4) and 16 (HMA 98-41-3) both incorporate representations of Native people, most likely male. Each canoe has one "legged" doll, with arms on his waist, near the bow, and one "pegged" doll, with arms raised flat to his chest, at the stern. Both dolls have redpainted chests. The dominance of red and black paint on both the dolls and the canoe models is characteristically Nuu-chah-nulth. The figures may represent a whale hunting team, with one person standing by to steady the stern while the lead hunter harpoons or charms the whale, although the exact interpretation of these ambiguous figures remains unknown. Model 13 (HMA 1999-31-7) is similar in size, shape, and finish to these two models, but lacks their crews. One other canoe model, Model 18 (HMA 1999-3112) may be Nuu-chah-nulth, as well (see Kankaanpaa, this volume), based on its form and finishing techniques. Models 10 (HMA 1999-31-6) and 11 (HMA 2000-14-2) are clearly related in form but may have been carved by Salishspeaking Quileut craftsmen, neighbors of the Nuu-chahnulth on the northern shore of the Olympic Peninsula." Clearly related in form, as well as in design, canoes 10 and 18 depict stylized killer whales. Most likely intended as crest symbols, these emblems would have evoked genealogy, legends, ownership rights, and privileges. Canoe 11 depicts another possible sea creature with fins. Both specimens 10 and 11 appear to have been used, prior to having been sold for curios, as grease bowls, as is suggested by their greasy patinas and darkened interior elements. Grease bowls, commonly carved as canoes, were used by Northwest Coast groups for feasting and potlatching events, as well as for mixing foods and berries with seal oil in less ceremonial settings. The Haida and Tlingit, the northernmost of the Northwest Coast cultures, shared many artistic and social traditions while maintaining separate languages and identities. Haida Gwaii, the main Haida homeland (also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands), is located off the
Yet changes in artistic form, design, and materials and the growing involvement of Native peoples in the tourist industry did not mean that the Native groups had "sold out," in the modern sense of that phrase. The production of goods for the tourist trade was not only an accommodation to the new economic climate of the late 1800s but also represented active Native negotiation with Euroamerican cultures. Native North Pacific and Arctic groups, as they had in the past, selected specific materials and designs to create both traditional and hybrid designs and forms. Technically, all of these items may have been "authentic" to the individuals who made them, whether or not they subscribed to the traditional beliefs and spirituality that originally inspired the designs they painted and carved on these objects. These items, created by Native artisans for non-Native consumers, were multivocal, providing different meanings to the artist, to collectors, and to tourists. Most importantly, the Native production of tourist items, including that of watercraft models, enabled Native individuals to gain some control over their survival while acquiring new sources of wealth and prestige among their peers. Thus, craftsmanship and profitability led to what is now known as a revitalization, not only of indigenous arts but also of Native lifeways and traditional culture in the Native communities of Alaska and the Northwest Coast. In Alaska, the controversial Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, which allotted 44 million acres and 962.5 million dollars to thirteen regional and more than 200 village corporations spurred the further development of Native industries and crafts through its "for profit" stipulations. Many of the corporations have turned to the tourism industry and craft production, in addition to fishing, mining, and lumbering. The crafts movement, in particular, has led to a growing revival of traditional skills in the hands of Native artisans. Native artwork today, from masks to boat models, is seen as a valid way to profit in an expanding world economy, to pass down traditional knowledge from the elders, and to fuse old and new into a modern, living, Native identity.
Bach canoe 9 (HMA 97-34-2) is unusual in possessing red formline designs instead of the central solid-colored panel; the canoe prow is decorated with a carved image of a salmon - a crest owned by the Raven moiety in Haida society. Other common canoe crests include the Killer Whale (17, HMA 98-41-2), other animal spirits (12 [HMA 2000-14-3], 14 [HMA 1999-31-8]), and Raven. A myth known to many Northwest Coast groups describes Raven saving humanity from a great flood by means of a dugout canoe; this may account for the frequent depiction of this theme on the prows and sterns of boat models. In the late nineteenth century the Haida and Tlingit accommodated many social and economic upheavals from changes in their architecture and social structure to the near eradication of traditional religious practices. By this time many of the artisans with traditional skills and knowledge had died from epidemics or old age; with time, fewer individuals knew the traditional techniques of carving and design. Many scholars, therefore, consider that many pieces obtained through the Northwest Coast trade are degraded from earlier "classic" Northwest styles. Among the Haida, however, a number of well known Haida artists and craftsmen, including the Edenshaw and Davidson families, maintained their culture's traditions from the 1870s onwards. This tradition continues to the present day, inspiring new generations of artists up and down the Northwest Coast. Bill Reid, whose mother was a Haida, was commissioned to build a 56-foot Haida war canoe for the 1985 World's Fair in Vancouver, which now can be seen in the Canadian Museum of Civilization. CONCLUSION In 1867, Alaska was transferred from Russia to the United States. The formal ceremony was held at Sitka, and the Tlingit, not permitted to be at the event, watched from their canoes in the harbor. With no federal agents on hand, a period of general lawlessness ensued for the next decade, during which time U.S. Revenue-Cutter Service vessels were sent periodically to protect Native peoples from American traders and settlers. At the start of the 1880s, gold was discovered near Juneau and the ensuing gold rush brought miners, prospectors, traders, missionaries, and museum collectors in ever-increasing numbers. On the Alaskan mainland, as well as on parts of the Northwest Coast, changes in Native social and economic life were swift. Through missionary zeal, shamanism and potlatching were nearly eliminated from public life. Government and missionary schools nearly erased Native languages. Native skin clothing was replaced with calico, wool, and canvas. Firearms, sold or traded by the British and French, were commonly used
where the Russians had formerly outlawed them. Alcohol, also forbidden by the Russian-American Company, became popular with Euroamericans and Natives alike, often with devastating effects. Native peoples, formerly in the employ of the Russian-American Company, or working as crewmen for the whaling vessels from the 1850s through the 1890s, were forced to find other employment when over-hunting and changing fashions ended the sea otter and whale hunts. In order to survive, Native men often worked for salmon canneries, lumbered, or fished commercially. Women also joined salmon canneries or worked as domestics for European families. Increasing debt, low wages, and, often, bad working conditions offered an incentive for Native families to find other ways to supplement their income. For some families and communities economic success and cultural survival were ensured through the increased production of traditional items for the tourist trade and museum collections. Often gifted artists and designers, as well as savvy businessmen and women, Native peoples of the Arctic and Northwest Coast not only persisted but also profited. B~at modeling in some Native communities, whether produced as toys for children to learn traditional gendered subsistence activities, or as symbolic amulets, was a traditional activity. Native artisans were highly selective over which tools, materials, and ideas they incorporated into their pieces. When watercraft models incorporated seal skin coverings or human figurines, the artistic skills of both men and women contributed to family, perhaps even community, stability. Native participation in boat modeling therefore allowed individuals, families, and communities to actively participate, largely on their own terms, in the increasingly complex wage economy as opportunistic artists and merchants. The museum halls of Europe and North America, crammed with objects of the Alaskan tourist trade, bear witness to this profitable Native industry, and ensure the enduring legacy of northern art and culture.
An increasing number of scholars have focused on the late nineteenth century surge in collectors of Native Alaskan arts, artifacts, and souvenirs." Many of these Native-made objects are disdained as being not "authentic" in the definitional sense that they were never used by Natives in their villages. Artwork was sometimes commissioned by collectors and curators, and artifacts were even purchased from non-Native middlemen, such as the Alaska Commercial Company, the Hudson's Bay Company, or, in Bach's case, the Hudson Bay Fur Company. Such items were often mass-produced, and as Molly Lee argues, functioned as commodities specifically designed for nonNatives."
The Bach Boat Models: Typology, Provenience,
By JARMO KANKAANPAA
he nineteen model boats of the Bach collection represent three major culture areas, the Yupiit (Pacific Eskimos), Alutiit (Pacific Eskimos), and Aleuts (Unangan) of western and southern Alaska; the Northwest Coast Indians of British Columbia and the Alaskan Panhandle; and the Athapaskan Indians of the Alaskan and northwestern Canadian inland. Although these areas are geographically contiguous, their boat-building traditions are markedly different. The most obvious difference is that the Eskimos and Aleuts built skin boats while the Northwest Coast Indians carved wooden dugouts and the Athapaskans manufactured birch bark canoes. This is reflected in the boat models of the Bach collection. THE SKIN BOATS
The Yupiit, Alutiit, and Aleuts traditionally used watercraft classified conventionally as kayaks and umiaks, that is, closed- and open-decked boats, respectively, with a skin cover stretched over a composite wooden frame.' The skin cover was made from dehaired sealskin or split walrus hide. Smaller seals such as ringed seals and harbor seals were preferred for kayak covers, while the larger umiaks were covered with bearded seal or walrus skin. The Aleuts and Alutiit used the skin of the Steller (northern) sea lion, a large eared seal that was common in their areas. In North Alaska, the Bering Sea, and the Aleutian Islands the wooden frame was made primarily of driftwood, since standing timber was not available in most coastal locations. Alutiit living in the northern Kodiak archipelago, Cook Inlet, and Prince William Sound were better supplied in this respect since they lived in a forested region and had access to timber, although the southern part of the Kodiak archipelago and adjacent shores of the Alaskan Peninsula were treeless - driftwood constituted the major source of wood in these areas, too. One hears now and then about kayak frames being built from "bone," but this is a myth; bone is both too heavy and too stiff for the purpose. Wooden dowels could also be used, and, in the case of umiaks, ivory spikes, but no metal nails, rivets, or staples went into the frame as originally built. Bone and ivory were used mainly for various accessories such as harpoon holders and deck line buttons.
The kayak, usually referred to in South Alaska by the Siberian term baidarka (sometimes spelled "bidarka" in English), is a covered hunting boat with one, two, or rarely three seats or "hatches." Kayaks were made by Eskimo peoples living in diverse environmental settings across the entire North American Arctic, from Greenland to Bering Strait, as well as by Eskimo and Aleut societies inhabiting the adjacent subarctic shores of southwestern and south-central Alaska. Kayaks and similar boats, also frequently called baidarkas, were also made and used by Eskimo and PaleoAsiatic societies occupying the coastal districts of northeastern Siberia.' These latter boats of the Asian mainland and islands are not represented in the Bach collection; nor are kayak models from Alaska north of the Bering Strait, Arctic Canada, or Greenland. Structurally, all Bering Sea, South Alaskan, and Aleutian kayaks differ from North Alaskan, Canadian, and Greenland kayaks in employing four-spar rather than three-spar geometry in their hull construction. In the latter group of kayaks, the primary longitudinal supporting members are the two gunwales and the keel, but the southwestern types add a fourth member above the sheer line in the form of a raised deck stringer. Where the northern, central, and eastern Arctic kayaks use wide gunwales to counteract hull droop and sag, the raised deck stringer of the
NOTES: 1 See Edmonds in Dorothy Jean Ray, The Eskimo of St. Michael and Vicinity as Related by H.M. W Edwards (Anthropological Papers of the University of Alaska, 1966), 13(2). Roza G. Liapunova, Essays on the Ethnography of the Aleuts (At the End of the Eighteenth and the First Half of the Nineteenth Century). Translated by Jerry Shelest with the editorial assistance of William B. Workman and Lydia T. Black. (Fairbanks, AK: University of Alaska Press, 1966),108-117,133-134; Richard A. Pierce, ed., Notes on the Islands of the Unalashka District by Ivan Veniaminov (Kingston, ON: The Limestone Press, 1984),270-275.
Ibid, 39. Ibid, 4. Crowell, Steffian, and Pullar 2001, fig. 138. Pierce ed. 1981, 30.
attributed to the Nuu-chah-nulth, or to more northern groups, Models 10 and II remain the only candidates for these Quileut canoes, and are reasonable candidates, as well, on the basis of their form and design.
Ibid, 131. Jacobsen 1977:12-13.
William W. Fitzhugh and Susan A. Kaplan, Inua: Spirit World of the Bering Sea Eskimo (Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1982),61.
Ibid, 131, pI. 97.
George Phebus, [r., Alaskan Eskimo Life in the 1890s as Sketched by Native Artists (Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1972).
20 Steve J. Langness, The Native People of Alaska (Anchorage, AK.: Greatland Graphics, 1993),29.
·1 Tom Harlan, University of Arizona, personal communication, 1995; Gary Carver, personal communication, 1996. 5 Richard H. Jordan and Richard A. Knecht, Archaeological Research on Western. Kodiak Island, Alaska: The Development of Koniag Culture. Late Prehistoric Development of Alaska's Native People, eds. Robert D. Shaw, Roger K. Harritt, and Don E. Dumond. (Anchorage: Alaska Anthropological Association, 1988), Aurora TV,225-306; Knecht, The Late Prehistory of the Alutiiq People: Culture Change on the Kodiak Archipelagofrom 1200-1750AD (Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA: Doctoral Dissertation, Department of Anthropology, 1995); Aron L. Crowell, Amy F. Steffian, and Gordon L. Pullar, Looking Both Ways: Heritage and Identity of the Alutiiq People (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2001),147. 6 Lydia T. Black, Glory Remembered: Wooden Headgear of Alaska Sea Hunters (juneau, AK: Alaska State Museums, 1991),23-24; Jordan and Knecht 1985; Knecht 1995.
Phebus 1972, Edward W. Nelson, The Eskimo About Bering Strait - 18" Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1896-97, Part 1 (Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1899); John Murdoch, Ethnological Results of the Point Barrow Expedition - 9th Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, pp. 1-441 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1892).
Douglas Cole, Captured Heritage: The Scramble for Northwest Coast Artifacts (Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 1985); Nelson Graburn, Molly Lee, and JeanRoup Rousselot, Catalogue Raisonne of the Alaska Commercial Company Collection, Phobe Apperson Hearst Museum of Anthropology (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1996); Fitzhugh and Kaplan 1982; Molly Lee, Tourism and Taste Cultures: Collecting Native Art in Alaska at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. In Ruth B. Phillips and Christopher B. Steiner, eds., Unpacking Culture: Art and Commodity in Colonial and Postcolonial Worlds (Berkeley, Ca: University of California Press, 1999) 267-281.
Iohan Adrian Jacobsen, Alaskan Voyage 1881-1883: An Expedition to the Northwest Coast of America, From the German text of Adrian Woldt. Translated by Erna Gunther. (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1977).
Aurel Krause and Arthur Krause, To the Chukchi Peninsula and to the Tlingit Indians 188111882: Journals and Letters by Aurel and Arthur Krause. Translated by Margaret Krause McCaffrey. (Fairbanks, AK: University of Alaska Press, 1993).
Jacobsen Ibid, 159. [bid, Ill. Ibid, 108. Ibid, 60. Fitzhugh Ibid.
7 See Gideon in Richard A. Pierce, ed., The Round the World Voyage of Hieromonk Gideon, 1803-1809. Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Lydia T. Black. (Kingston, Ontario: The Limestone Press, 1989),49. 8
Urey Lisianski, Voyage Around the World in the Years 1803, 1804, 1805, and 1806 (Ridgewood, N.J.: The Gregg Press, 1969).
Susan A. Kaplan and Kristin J. Barsness,
, See Golovin in Basil Dmytryshyn and E.A.P. Crownhart-Vaughan, eds. and trans., The End of Russian America: Captain P. N. Golovin's Last Report, 1862 (Portland, OR: Oregon Historical Society, 1979),76; Richard A. Pierce, ed. A Selection from G. I Davydov: An Account of Two Voyages to America. Translated by Colin Bearne. (Arctic Anthropology XlII-2: 1976),1-30.
Raven's Journey: The World of Alaska's Native People (Philadelphia, PA: The University Museum, 1986); Black 1991; Fitzhugh and Kaplan 1982.
Don and Debra McQuesten, Dolls and Toys of Native America: A Journey Through Childhood (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1995),110-111,116-7.
Richard A. Pierce, ed.: Kodiak and Afognak Life, 1868-1870, by Eli Lundy. Huggins with the Journals of John A. Campbell and Frederick Sargent. (Kingston, Ontario: Brown and Marti.n Limited 1981).
Iarrno Kankaanpaa, this volume, notes that a letter from the Hudson Bay Fur Company to Bach makes reference to two "Siwash canoes made by the Quilloet Indians living near Clallam Bay, Washington" in the collection that Bach purchased. If, as Kankaanpaa argues, the other Northwest Coast canoes in this collection can be reliably
The Bach kayaks
Kayak model L: 33 em W: 1.5 em
appears somewhat too large for his vessel. The length/width ratio of 7.7 is proportionally somewhat wider than on known full-sized boats of this type, which range from c. 10 to 13.5. 2. Kayak model L: 59 em W: 9.5 H: 13 em
This is a typical Aleut (Unangan) singlehatch baidarka model, covered with gut skin rather than the sealskin that covers most full-sized Aleut-made boats and models. Typical Aleut features include the bifid bow without a vertical post, the narrow hull, the "aircraft-carrier" -type, laterally-squared stern, and the oval cockpit. The model is furnished with a figure dressed in a gut skin jacket and protected by a gut skin spray skirt, which was a standard fixture on Aleutian baidarkas. He has an Aleut-style doublebladed paddle in one hand and a fishing line complete with sinker and catch in the other, although these may not be original parts of the model. An Aleut kayaker would also normally be wearing a wooden hunting hat, but if such was once a part of this model, it is missing today. On the foredeck are several harpoons complete with ivory heads, and on the aft deck are several headless shafts. This is in keeping with the Aleut hunting method, which emphasized hitting the quarry with several barbed harpoon heads rather than fastening a line and float to it with one harpoon and then finishing the animal off with a barbless lance. The model appears fairly true to full-sized vessels in its details and proportions, although there are again fewer hull stringers (three as opposed to four) than there would be in a full-sized kayak and the occupant figure
This model appears to represent a Norton Sound kayak with two hatches. The mythical monster known to the Yupiit of the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta region as the palraiyuk is depicted, in profile, along both sides.' Other details of the model's construction are similar to No.3, including the straight deck ridgeline, the narrow handles fore and aft, and the single-bladed paddles. Some sort of weapon - possibly a harpoon - is stored beneath the deck line on the port side between the cockpits. The model is furnished with two figures dressed in gut skin parkas. The cockpits appear to be placed too close together for the efficient use of a throwing harpoon from the fore position.
Two-hatch kayaks were not typical in the Bering Sea area and would have been awkward to use in the ice. Two-man kayak hunting, as practiced in southern Alaska, was also not a part of the Norton Sound hunting tradition. Although there are no full-size examples of two-hatch Norton Sound kayaks extant, to my knowledge, a comparable type is known from King Island. John Heath has published line drawings of a two-hatch King Island kayak ("makluulik") collected in 1922,' but, supporting Edward William Nelson's earlier arguments,' suggests that the type was introduced by outsiders in historic times. This model has a length/ width ratio of 7.7, which is wider than Heath's King Island two-seater, which has a length/width ratio of 8.8. 3. Kayak model L: 53 em W: 9.5 em D: 14 em
This model represents a typical, singlehatch, Norton Sound type from the northern Bering Sea coast. Its diagnostic features include a high, straight deck
southwestern kayaks acts as a structural bridge between the bow and stern. Consequently, the gunwales can be kept narrower and thus lighter on these vessels. Since this bridge must nevertheless have a gap at the cockpit opening, the cockpit coaming of a southwestern kayak is actually integrated into the bridge structure. The coaming is thick, rigid, and permanently fastened to the frame between the fore and aft deck stringer, serving as a spring to allow the deck bridge to stretch and contract to a limited degree. In central and eastern kayaks, on the other hand, the cockpit coaming does not act as a structural support and is consequently thin and attached only to the skin cover. Most northern, central, and eastern kayaks also have a single, central, deck stringer, but since this is set between rather than above the gunwales its role as a structural member is negligible and it serves primarily as a support for the deck cover. Four-spar kayaks are easily recognizable by their ridged deck fore and aft. Three-spar kayaks generally have flat decks with a varying amount of arching immediately in front of the cockpit but none at all behind it.3 The southwestern kayaks can be divided into two main groups: the Bering Sea types and the Pacific or South Alaskan types. Kayaks from the Bering Sea area have a high deck ridge: regional types include the Seward Peninsula, Norton Sound, Nunivak Island - Hooper Bay, and Bristol Bay variants, all of which can be readily distinguished from one another on the basis of their distinctive bow and stern shapes. Bering Sea kayaks are usually single-hatch vessels since they were mainly used for stalking seals in ice-choked waters where maneuverability in tight places was essential. Hunting in the ice also often involved pulling the boat over ice floes and Bering Sea kayak types are usually furnished with various types of carrying handles or holes forward and aft to facilitate this. In this sea-ice-dominated environment, it was also impractical for kayak-based hunters to transport their catch by floating it alongside the kayak since it would snag on passing ice-floes in tight channels. Therefore, in the Bering Sea area, the traditional method for transporting the catch was to store it inside the kayak - in pieces, if necessary. Kayaks of this area were consequently built rather wide and voluminous for their length, which was usually on the short side to enable easy passage through tight channels in the ice pack. They also often had a large cockpit opening to facilitate loading -large enough, in fact, to allow carrying a rearwards-facing passenger behind the paddler. Bering Sea kayaks were paddled with a single-bladed paddle that was shifted from side to side every few strokes. Baidarkas made by Aleut boat-builders living in the Aleutian Islands, or by Alutiiq craftsmen in the regions around Kodiak Island, the Kenai Peninsula, and Prince William Sound were open-water boats and were built with longer frames than the Bering Sea types. There were no carrying handles on these boats since ice floes were not a problem, but they employed complex bifurcate bow designs,
the function of which is not fully understood. This bow design typically consisted of a paddle-like lower part and a beak-like upper part, sometimes ending in a vertical post. It has been suggested that the design improved the way the bow behaved when hitting the bottom of a wave trough in the high seas characteristic of this stormy, largely ice-free region, or that it allowed for better seaworthiness and speed. In calm seas, however, the bow would have had little effect since it was raised out of the water even when the boat was fully loaded. The bow design may also have had symbolic meaning, or may have been intended to identify the identity and origin of its occupants. Whatever its role, it appears that bow forms have changed over the years and may have varied by region, as well. For example, some eighteenth century drawings show the lower projection as a downcurved beak, while prehistoric model kayaks from the Karluk-I site on southwestern Kodiak Island lack the bifurcated projection altogether.' The deck ridge of Pacific region baidarkas is lower than on Bering Sea kayak types and the hull stringers were generally very thin. Like the Eskimos of the Bering Sea, Alutiiq kayakers used single-bladed paddles, although the Aleuts used double-bladed paddles similar to North Alaskan, Canadian, and Greenland Eskimo forms. South Alaskan baidarkas were often furnished with multiple hatches, although eighteenth and nineteenth-century illustrations and archaeological models demonstrate that both Aleuts and Alutiit also made and used single-hatch badairkas. Singleand double-hatch baidarkas were both used for hunting animals at opposite ends of the marine mammal size scale baleen whales and sea otters. The harpooner occupied the fore hatch, while the paddler in the aft hatch - often a novice hunter - was responsible for maneuvering the boat during the final stage of the chase. Since the harpooner needed space for his cast, the cockpits in two-hatch hunting kayaks were placed well apart. Three-hatch baidarkas are generally thought to have first appeared in South Alaska during the Russian period. In the period after Russian colonization of the region they were used primarily for transporting government officials, missionaries, and military staff, since they were too unwieldy to be used as hunting boats. In these boats, the passenger sat in the central cockpit while the Native crew in the fore and aft seats paddled the vessel. Three-hatch baidarkas were particularly common in the Alutiiq area and continued to be built there through the early twentieth century. Like the Labrador Eskimo - but contrary to the norm elsewhere Alutiiq kayakers paddled in a kneeling rather than a sitting position. Consequently, baidarkas from this region were clearly wider than those made in the Aleutian Islands and were therefore also larger in volume; in fact, Alutiiq threehatch baidarkas were the largest kayaks built anywhere in the Eskimo-Aleut area.
"Umiak" (sing., Iriupiaq, pl. umiat) is the generic term for the open boat types used by the Eskimos, Aleuts, Chukchi, and Koryak; although, as with kayaks, local names varied by region. In Greenland, the Danes often referred to the umiak as the "women's boat" because in historical times it was used primarily for transportation and was rowed by women (the men following in their kayaks). However, the umiak was also the boat used by the Eskimo of North Alaska, Siberia, northeastern Canada, and southern Greenland for hunting large baleen whales and walrus, and in this capacity it was paddled - not rowed - by a crew of men. In the western Arctic, the umiak has survived primarily in North Alaska, the Seward Peninsula, and the Eskimo and Chukchi villages of Siberia. Umiak-like boats were formerly known also in the Bering Sea area and the Pacific Eskimo/Aleutian region (where they were known by the Native terms angyaq [Alutiiq, sing.] and angijuk [Yupi'ik, sing.], although they are better known by the Russians term baidara). These southern types have rarely been built or used since the nineteenth century. Like the kayak, the umiak has a skin cover stretched over a composite wood frame, albeit without a deck. However, whereas the kayak frame is basically a lens-shaped deck frame (a pair of gunwales joined at the ends and kept apart by a series of deck beams) with ribs, keelson, and hull stringers added underneath, the umiak frame is a lensshaped bottom frame with side beams, gunwales, and side spars fastened on top. Where the hull shape of a kayak is formed by bent ribs curving from gunwale to gunwale, the lateral hull support of an umiak consists of three separate series of crosswise members: the horizontal bottom beams holding the strakes of the bottom frame apart, and the upright side beams on each side, holding up the gunwales. In cross-section, the umiak is trapezoidal, rather like a flat-bottomed fishing dory, and as in a dory, the sides of the umiak are held apart by thwarts that also served as benches. As noted above, umiaks were rowed by women but paddled by men. As a rule, Eskimo men do not travel backwards, so even when rowing, they tend to push rather than pull with the oars. Paddling is naturally quieter than rowing, so it is more practical to paddle when trying to sneak up on a whale. Umiaks did not originally have oarlocks; the oars rested directly on the gunwales, being held in place by leather loops that passed around the oar from two directions and were fastened to the same spar that the tightening lines of the skin cover were passed around. The umiak was steered with a large paddle from the stern. In addition to being paddled, umiaks laden with goods were often pulled along the shore by people or dogs tugging walrus-hide ropes while a steersman kept the boat from grounding. Sails, often stretched between two upright spars, were also used on umiaks in the western Arctic, but whether they were known in the pre-contact period is a matter of some debate. Transportation umiaks used in the eastern Arctic were often very large and could seat twenty people or more, but the hunting umiaks - particularly whaling typesof the western Arctic were quite small and intended only for a crew of six to eight, including the steersman and the harpooner.
i\n Alaskan Inupiat man shows his model of a three-holed kayak, standing in front of umiak shelter. Courtesy British Columbia Archives, E-00840.
ridge and short, narrow lifting handles fore and aft that do not extend beyond the hull proper. The round cockpit is very wide, as is typical. of most Bering Sea types. The model is furnished with deck lines, the one in front of the cockpit being supported by two ivory buttons in the form of seals. A harpoon and a singlebladed paddle are secured by the foredeck lines. The male figure in the cockpit is furnished with an inexplicably hairy parka (kayak parkas were usually made from de-haired seal skin or gut membrane impregnated with seal oil). The figure holds a short stick broken at each end in his outstretched hands, but it is not certain what the object might originally have been - certainly not part of a paddle since it is much too thin. The anomalous parka he wears raises the question whether the figure is actually an original part of the model. One would also expect a model like this to have a harpoon line rack and float, but these, if once present, are missing. The kayak appears fairly realistic and true to shape. The model has a length/width ratio of 6.1, which is on the wide side compared to two full-size Norton Sound kayaks published by Nelson" and Chapelle,? which had ratios of 7.3 and 8.6, respectively.
the Alutiit and Aleuts. Characteristic features helpful in attributing this baidarka to the Alutiiq kayak-making tradition include its bifid bow and vertical stern, although the latter is common to both Yupiit Eskimo and Aleut kayaks. Details that identify it specifically as an Alutiiq model (as opposed to an Aleut one) include the upright extension on the upper "beak" of the prow, the very wide hull, the round cockpits, the narrow stern, and the single-bladed paddles. The model appears to be fairly true to the original in details, although there appear to be only two bottom stringers per side whereas a full-sized baidarka would have had at least four. The dimensions seem a bit exaggerated, especially the width; the width/length ratio of the model is 6.3, while a two-hatch Alutiiq baidarka published by Chapelle'" has a ratio of 8.0. The bifid bow on this piece is also disproportionately large. S. Kayak model
L: 94 em W: lS.5 em H: 10 em 2000-14-1
have a smaller, flattened bow hole or none at all. Furthermore, the Eskimos of the Diomede Islands whaled from umiaks rather than kayaks, so the proposed use and attribution are both questionable. John Heath's older Diomede Eskimo informants, interviewed in 1966-71, did not remember kayaks having ever been used on the Diomede Islands, and Heath suspects that a supposed Diomede kayak collected by Diamond Jenness in 1913 actually derived from King Island. II The form of the prow in front of the hole on this model is actually most similar to that of a King Island kayak photographed by John Heath, yet according to Heath's King Island informants, three-hatch kayaks were unknown on King Island." Whatever the correct provenience of this model, multiple-hatch kayaks were atypical of Bering Strait or the central Bering Sea coast, as they were of Norton Sound. In all of these regions, traditional kayak-based hunting generally employed single- hatch types. I do not believe that there is a full-sized example of a threehatch kayak from the Bering Sea area in existence, but Edward William Nelson wrote that "On October 3, 1878, I arrived at Kigiktauik (Norton Sound) in a large kaiak with two paddle men" which clearly indicates that he was being transported in just this area in a kayak built for three people, one a colonial administrator and the other two Native guides or rowers. 13 It is possible that the three-hatch type was introduced during the Russian period as a passenger transport, as it was in South Alaska. The length/width ratio of this model is 6.1, which is about average for a singlehatch Nunivak kayak and a bit wide for a single-hatch King Island kayak. However, it would definitely be wide for a threehatch variant of either type.
L: 60 em W: 9.5 em
This model represents a typical Alutiiq (Koniag or Chugach) three-hatch baidarka. The model does not include a crew, and the two single-bladed paddles stored under the deck lines appear slightly too large, compared with the boat itself. The model has interesting details, including inserts of hair and colored yarn in the deck seams. This was a typical way of decorating the gut skin kamleikas or knee-length pullover raincoats used by
This three-hatch kayak model superficially resembles the Nunivak Island - Hooper Bay type from the central Bering Sea coast. The large round hole in the bow is a particularly typical feature of this type. The narrow and short handle in the stern is, however, closer in style to the Bering Strait and Norton Sound types found farther to the north along the Bering Sea coast. Nunivak kayaks have a longer and wider handle that sticks out beyond the stern post. A letter from the Hudson Bay Fur Company. to Ferdinand Bach, dated 10/2/ 1917, mentions a "whaling kyak (sic!), Diomede Islands, 37" length, three holes" which probably refers to this piece since the length and number of hatches match. However, kayaks from the Diomede Islands, which lie in Bering Strait, tend to
L: 124 em W: 28.2 em H: 12.5 em 1999-31-11
This is another umiak with a "ship's boat" type stern. It is longer than No.6 and thus appears to be more true to the original dimensions of a full-size umiak. The benches and sides of the umiak are decorated with the figure of an animal, in this case the mythical creature known to Yupiit Eskimo from the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta north to Norton Sound as palraiyuk," As with No.6, the design is anomalous as far as the stern goes, and the provenience is almost certainly the Bering Sea coast based on its iconography, which is shared with Model 2, a kayak from Norton Sound. The length/width ratio is 3.3, which would be somewhat on the short side for a narrowended umiak, but the rounded stern would tend to cut down the length to some extent.
The Northwest Coast Indians manufactured their canoes by hollowing out large red cedar trunks with adzes. Sizes varied from small, two-man fishing canoes to large, open-sea "war" canoes that could seat more than forty men. Typical features of most Northwest Coast seagoing dugout canoes included a long prow that either joined the keel at an angle or had a special rudder-like bow "spur," referred to as a "water-cutter" by the Kwakiutl." Such an appendage, together with the high stern typical of many Northwest Coast dugouts, would have caused the vessel to turn into the wind. OBSERVATIONS DUGOUTS The dugout models in the Bach collection clearly fall into two groups. The first consists of what appear to be smallish ON THE
hunting/fishing canoes with a "dog's head" prow, a squared off "clipper" forefoot, a flat bottom, and an angular, upright stern. This group includes six models, Nos. 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, and 18. At least two are referred to in a Hudson Bay Fur Company letter to Ferdinand Bach as "Siwash canoes made by the Quilloet Indians living near Clallam Bay, Washington," but whether these are Numbers 10 and 11 or some other pair is not clear. This type of canoe, usually referred to as the "west coast" type, was, in fact, widespread among the more southerly Northwest Coast tribes." In addition to the Nuu-chah-nulth, the Makah, and the Quileut, it was also found among the Kwakiutl and the various Coast Salish groups of British Columbia and Washington. The spiked prow, which Edward S. Curtis compared to a dog's head", is a standard feature of the type in all areas regardless of tribe. The size varied according to use, from small fishing and sealing models to whaling canoes that could carry more than ten men. Numbers 10 and 11 appear to form a pair; both are unpainted on the outside (save for the "fish" and end stripes on 10) and both have a "fish" painted in the middle of the bottom on the inside. Numbers 15 and 16 appear almost identical in size, shape, and paint scheme, and have a similar "crew." They are probably from the same group, possibly even the same maker. Number 13 also has a similar paint scheme, although it is somewhat larger and more coarsely finished. Number 18 is closer to the first pair in the sense that it has naturalistic animal figures and end stripes on the outside like Number 10, but there appears to be no figure on the inside. The second group consists of larger, open sea canoes with a narrow, gradually
curving bow, a distinct bow "spur;' a rounded bottom, a curved stern, and stylized animal heads represented on the bow. This group comprises models 12, 14, and 17. Although all three are said to be Haida canoes, this type of canoe (usually referred to as the "northern" type) was found among all of the northern Northwest Coast tribes, from the Eyak and Tlingit of the Alaskan Panhandle to the Kwakiutl of northern Vancouver Island. Northern canoes were often very large. Since building such massive dugouts req uired access both to large trees and specialist expertise, not all tribes were capable of producing their own, preferring, instead, to purchase them from neighboring groups. The models, though representing the same general type, are very different in finish and decoration. Number 14 is painted with very fine detail, Number 12 is natural wood color on the outside with engraved figures outlined in black, while Number 17 is black on the outside with the engraved figures carved through as outlines rather than surfaces like Number 12. Number 14 also appears older than the other two. Model Number 9 does not closely conform to either group, but the animal head bow with its small "rudder;' the rounded bottom, and the curved stern nonetheless place it much closer to the northern canoes than to the west coast canoes. The catalog identifies it as "Haida," which is not at odds with the typological attributes, such as they are. A letter from the Hudson Bay Fur Company to Ferdinand Bach, dated June 2,1917, mentions that the few Haida (model) canoes in stock" ... are not made for sale or for models but are used by the Haidas as Oil dishes & for mixing food et cetera." Of the four purported Haida canoes in the collection, Number 9 would best answer to this description, since the other three are each furnished with benches. However, the wear and other features mentioned in connection with Number 14 might suggest that this was also originally a serving vessel.
The Bach umiaks
All three of the umiaks in the Bach collection are clearly western Arctic types, as eastern Arctic umiaks have wide stem and stern plates and look rectangular when viewed from above. Most eastern umiaks also have vertical or near-vertical stems and sterns, whereas western umiaks have a rounded stem. A further feature, typical especially of southwestern Alaskan umiaks, is the painting of the woodwork with red ochre. On balance, it appears most likely that all three of these umiak models were made south of the Bering Strait and may capture the form and iconography ofYupi'it angijut, Bering Sea umiaks that fell out of use in the late nineteenth century. 6. Umiak model
L: 61 em W: 27 em H: 12.5 em 1999-31-1
This is a very rotund umiak model made from authentic materials, seal skin and wood. This umiak has very distinctly different bow and stern configurations. The former represents a construction typical of northern and southwestern Alaska, with the ends of the two gunwale spars forming a pair of closely spaced, short, handles. The stern, on the other hand, is wide, laterally rounded, and atypically furnished with a stern bench in the style of European ship's boats. The gunwale spar curves around the stern, and the rear hull ends in a near-vertical sternpost. The thwarts are decorated with a seal figure, the hind flippers being painted on the stern bench, the head on the fore bench, and the body represented by black stripes on the ribs, seats, and thwarts. The vessel appears very short and stubby for its
width and height. The length/width ratio works out as 2.3, which differs markedly from the normal range of c. 4 - 5 for fullsize umiaks. These dimensions are closer to those of a small umiak-like boat known as the umiahalurak, which was used in North Alaska for fetching seals shot from shore with a rifle. I. The umiahalurak was the Eskimo equivalent of a dinghy and was designed to carry only a single hunter. It was made small to be easily transportable by dogsled. However, the model does not portray an umiahalurak because the latter does not have as many thwarts as the model does, nor would there be use for a stern bench since the sole occupant of an umiahalurak perforce sits in the middle. The seal decoration is most stylistically akin to Bering Sea Eskimo art, and with its rounded stern, the umiak itself does not resemble the common North Alaskan or Siberian umiak types, and certainly not any Canadian or Greenland type. The model, therefore, most likely portrays a Bering Sea Eskimo umiak. These were already quite rare in the nineteenth century and had essentially disappeared by the twentieth century, so there is very little data from which to assess their true variability. American whalers frequented Alaskan waters in force through the last half of the nineteenth century, and their plank-built whaling boats with wide (albeit straight) sterns may have influenced this Native design.
L: 124 em W: 28 em 97-34-3
This also appears to be a Bering Strait umiak similar to late nineteenth century model umiaks from St. Michael (Norton Sound), illustrated by Nelson." Diagnostic features include the "recurved" bow and the rounded plate without protruding handles at the stem (but double handles at the stern). The fittings appear to include two spars for a V-shaped mast and sail, in addition to three oars and a paddle. A pair of rowlocks is fitted to the gunwales. Similar to Model 6, the benches, ribs, and thwarts are decorated, the stern bench carrying a seal's tail and hind flippers similar to those on Model 6, with the body continuing similarly as a black stripe over the middle benches. The head is replaced by a mask-like visage on the stem-plate. Although, on the basis of its shape, this umiak could derive from anywhere from south of Seward Peninsula to Point Barrow, its overall similarities to Model 8, which bears a characteristically Bering Sea-region palraiyuk design, argue for an origin south of Seward Peninsula. The Vshaped sail (a sail stretched between two spars set in a "V") appears very early in North Alaskan umiaks, and some authorities consider it an original Eskimo invention." The length/width ratio works out at 4.5, which is normal for a full-size boat.
A wooden dugout model without thwarts, very similar in shape to Number 10, bow spike and all. The decoration is different; there is no decoration on the outside while the inside is black at the bow and stern and red amidships. At the center of the bottom there is a black figure, possibly a sculpin or other benthic fish seen from above.
L: 53.5 em W: 12 em 2000-14-3 A wooden dugout model furnished with four
benches. This model has a swept prow with a squared-off bow "spur", a rounded bottom, and a graceful, curved stern. The bow is decorated with a carved and painted animal head - again possibly a salmon - and the stern is likewise emblazoned with what looks like a fishtail.
L: 116 em W: 27 em H of stern: 16 em H of bow: 19.5 em 1999-31-7
A wooden dugout model similar in shape to Number 10. There are no benches or thwarts. The entire inside as well as the outside of the bow and stern are painted red, while the rest of the outside hull is black. There is no figurative decoration. The adze marks on the outside of the hull are clearly visible.
L: 60 emW: 15.5 em D: 14.5 em 97-34-2
This is a wooden dugout model without thwarts or benches. The bow is formed like the head of an animal, possibly a salmon. A small bow "spur" is visible beneath the figurehead. The stern is angular and bulky and could have been meant to portray a fish tail, although this is not quite clear. The bottom is rounded. The model is covered with painted decorations in red and black. Although large sea-going canoes of the Haida and other northern tribes usually had an animal portrayed on the bows, it is questionable whether a real canoe could have borne carved decorations as strongly profiled and bulky as this model, since they would most likely have interfered with the craft's seaworthiness. The stern is atypical. 10. Dugout Canoe Model
L: 61 em W: 14.5 1999-31-6
This is another wooden dugout model without thwarts. The form is angular, with a long prow sloping down to a squared-off dipper-like forefoot, a straight keel, a flat bottom, and a heavy, upright stern. There is a prominent "spike" sticking out forward from the bow. This, together with the notch on top of the prow where the gunwales meet, makes the prow look like a dog's head, although, as Edward S. Curtis observed, the resemblance is coincidental. The model is decorated with fish figures executed in black paint. The species is difficult to identify since the ventral fins are missing, and the single upright dorsal fin makes it possible that the "fish" are actually killer whales, animals that were spiritually important to many Northwest Coast societies and that were frequently employed as crests.
17. Dugout Canoe Model L: 116 em W: 27 em H: 23 em 98-41-2
A wooden dugout similar in shape to Number 12 and furnished with five benches. The hull is black on the outside and decorated with carved designs, possibly a salmon head at the bow and another at the stern facing backwards, and a pair of birds - possibly ravens - are carved back to back amidships.
18. Dugout Canoe Model L: 100 em W: 20.5 em H at bow: 22 em 1999-31-12
A wooden dugout similar to Number 10, with six thwarts and a paddle but no crew. The hull is painted black on the inside with a narrow red stripe close to the gunwale, while the outside is mostly red with black bars at the bow and stern. Two killer whales are painted in black on either side of the hull. The stern is heavier than on the other models of this type, and the painting is coarser, particularly on the outside.
L: 123 em W: 22 em 2000-14-6
This birchbark canoe model belongs to neither of the aforementioned groups. Birch bark canoes were used by Indians of the northern boreal woodlands, from Newfoundland to Alaska. In most eastern and central types the birch bark skin was stretched it into shape by inserting wide, lengthwise slats that were held in place by crosswise ribs abutting on the gunwales. In Alaska and northwestern Canada, however, the birch bark canoes of many inland Athapaskan peoples, and also several riverine Eskimo groups, utilized an umiak-type, lens-shaped bottom frame and thin side stringers instead of the wide, separate slats of the common "Indian canoe". The ends of these types also curved in much less than those of the archetypal "Indian" style, and the cross-section was often trapezoidal rather than rounded, particularly on the Eskimo types. Edwin Tappan Adney referred to this type as the "kayak-form canoe.'?' The Bach birch bark canoe model fits this description, as it has a bottom frame and thin stringers as well as moderately raked ends that do not turn in on themselves. The cross section is rounded, which suggests that the boat is probably Athapaskan rather than Eskimo. The model is extremely well made and appears true to the original in all aspects, save perhaps the scale of the spruce root seams. The model has the normal number of thwarts and stringers for a largish canoe. A beam of 8 ee"and length of 48" give a width to length ratio of 1:5.5. This is wider than average for the longer boats but is still within the range of full-size examples."
L: 116 em W: 26 em
L: 90 em W: 22 em H: 28.5
L: 95 em W: 27 em H: 23
A wooden dugout model resembling Number 12 and furnished with benches. The bow spur is rounded rather than sharp, and the prow appears to have been mended with two copper plates fastened with small nails. The outside of the hull is decorated with painted designs in black and red, though these appear to have been worn off toward the middle. The bow is decorated with the head of a largetoothed animal, perhaps a bear. The intricate paintings, wear, and repairs suggest that the model saw extensive use, perhaps in some ritual capacity, before becoming a curio.
A wooden dugout model similar in shape to Numbers 13 and 16. Contrary to the former, however, Number IS is furnished with two thwarts, a crew of two (possibly a male and a female), and two sea lion carcasses. At least one further thwart is missing from the aft part of the hull, judging by a pair of holes inboard near the gunwale. The outboard flare of the gunwales is faithfully reproduced. The hull is painted red on the inside with a narrow black band around the gunwales, while the outside is red below the waterline and black above it, except for a red bow. No animal figures are present.
A wooden dugout nearly identical to Number IS, furnished with one thwart and a crew of similar form and size. At least three more thwarts appear to be missing, judging from holes on the insides of the gunwales. The hull is painted red on the inside and black on the outside, save for a red bow, as on Number IS.
implement to the user's physique) was more or less essential for optimal control. In others, the measurements had to do with structural integrity, fitting the implement to its use environment through long experience. In yet other components, the proportions were primarily a matter of "style" or "identity" and helped to make the implement look familiar - "ours" rather than "theirs." The problem with anatomical measurements, however, is that they are difficult to scale up or down. If everything is measured in small, standard units - centimeters, inches, or even fingers - calculating the measurements of a scale model is not very difficult. On the other hand, if every part and measurement is defined by a different set of measurements (say, hull width is your hip width plus four fingers on each side, length is six paces plus a bow block the length of your shin, and height is a palmand-three-fingers-wide gunwale plus the short radius of a semi-oval rib reaching from your nose to the middle finger of your outstretched hand when unbent), then scaling these down to 1:12 or 1:18.82 is a rather difficult exercise, to say the least. What is much more likely to happen is that once model making becomes a relatively frequent pastime, a separate standard of measurements will develop, based on anatomical measurements that are better suited to the size of the models and their parts - fingers instead of limbs, palms instead of paces. Models will thus have their own measurement standards, which will not necessarily be similar to the originals. Features that are considered important, such as bow and stern structures, will be emphasized at the expense of less unique ones. People will have a separate idealwhat James Deetz referred to as a "mental template?" - of what "our" canoe model should look like, as opposed to our full-sized canoe. In this connection, it is interesting to observe how the widthilength ratios of the dugout models behave as compared to model length. Presuming that models are generally stumpier relative to their width than would be the case of full-sized boats, one might expect the models to grow narrower as their size increased, but this is not what happens. Plotting the length/width ratios of the two groups of dugouts as a function of model length shows that, at least within this small sample, there is no meaningful correlation between size and narrowness. If anything, longer models actually tend to be wider. The length/width ratios for four of the six west coast models, including the shortest and the longest specimen, cluster between 4.1 and 4.3, while the narrowest boat (Number 11, ratio 5.2) is actually the second shortest. The three "standard" northern boats all fall between 4.4 and 4.5 although Number 12 is less than half the length of the other two. Interestingly enough, the length and width measurements of the largest boat in each group, Numbers. 13 and 17, respectively, are nearly identical. The conclusions one can draw from a comparison of the Bach models to fullsized boats is that models are rarely good bases for reconstructing their real-life counterparts, at least as far as authentic measurements are concerned. Only the birch bark canoe (Number 19) represents "accuracy" in this respect. On the other hand, the models give a good indication of which features were considered important by the builders themselves - perhaps this is a different, but equally important measure of "accuracy." This is not unique to models from this part of the world. Many European sixteenth century ship models look ridiculous today because they have immense foc'sls, poops, cannon, and masts, while the hull below the waterline is puny by comparison. However, these top-heavy ship models do not try to be exact renditions, but rather provide impressions of what a stately man-o' -war should look like, of what it is that counts. Similarly, kayak, umiak, and dugout canoe models emphasize the specific, diagnostic, and detailed features of their bows and sterns, while the parts located in between - although not actually unimportant - were more "negotiable."
As should be expected, the models in the Bach collection, like other models of this type and age, are not exact-scale representations of full-sized boats. Deviations from the originals vary, somewhat, by the kinds of boat being modeled. Kayaks and umiaks were structurally more complex than dugouts, so there were more structural details that had to be simplified due to scale problems. It was also quite impossible for the model-builders to reproduce the very fine stitching used in waterproof boat seams, even at a scale of 1:5, and, consequently, the skin boat models look rather coarse when examined critically. There was also no point in tightening the kayak covers over the decks with a back-and-forth lacing, as would have been done on fullsized boats. The number of stringers and ribs on these models is also usually less than on a full-sized vessel, partly because those on the model had to be made thicker to withstand the pressure of the thick cover and handling by the maker and purchaser. The umiaks are more true to detail than the kayaks, due to the fact that umiaks, in general, have fewer parts and the ones they have are larger and, thus, are easier to reproduce at a smaller scale. This applies especially to the longitudinal members and the end structures; the number of lateral members - side and bottom beamsappears to be less than on full-size models. The makers of the dugouts faced a different set of problems. In several of the west coast models the hull looks thicker - particularly at the stern - than on full-sized canoes, although this observation is not based on actual measurements. The carved decorations on the northern types (except for Number 14, which is painted) also appear somewhat exaggerated in depth. A feature that is common to all of the models is that they are shorter than a fullsized model with a similar cross-section would be. This is particularly true of umiak Number 6; but all of the skin boats that could be compared to full-sized boats had larger width-to-length ratios. Comparisons are more difficult for the dugouts, since measurement data for full-sized examples are not as readily available. Nevertheless, comparisons with photographs suggest that both the width and the height are exaggerated, compared to the length. What, then, do the models portray accurately? One could answer this question by asking simply, how do we know that this is a Norton Sound kayak or that a west coast dugout? A naval historian looking at model of the U.S.S. Constitution, the HMS Victory, or the Cutty Sark would know what ship, or at least what type of ship, he or she was looking at, even if the proportions were off, by observing certain key features - the shape of the hull, the number of masts, the form of the sails, the figurehead, the paintwork, the arrangement of the ordinance, the flags, etc. Naval and coastal artillery personnel have traditionally been taught to recognize enemy ships by their profiles, especially the shapes of their bows and superstructures and the number of their smokestacks and gun turrets, which were the first features that would be visible from a distance. The actuallength/height ratios were less important, since there was no guarantee that the vessels would be visible directly from the side. Similarly, the boat models of the Bach collection all show - in some cases even emphasize - those features that were unique to the full-sized type: the shapes of the bow and stern, the cross section of the hull, the decoration, and in the skin and birchbark boats also the configuration of the frame. The proportions are quite a different matter. Pre-industrial people rarely used standardized systems of measurement. The sizes of various implements were usually defined on the basis of anatomical measurements specific to the maker or user such as finger width, forearm length (cubit), reach (fathom), and so forth. For certain implements, such as kayaks, paddles, or spear throwers, ergonomy (fitting of the
NOTES: I Kayak and umiak are terms used for these boats in the languages of Canadian and Greenlandic Inuit as well as North Alaskan Ifiupiat and have become conventional terms in both anthropological and lay discourse. Different terms and variants were used in the languages of other Native Alaskan Eskimos and Aleuts to refer to similar boat types and their indigenously recognised subdivisions. Kayak and umiak are used interchangeably with these local terms, in tbis paper, to facilitate discourse. William W. Fitzhugh and Aron Crowell, Crossroads of Continents: Cultures of Siberia and Alaska (Washington, D.C.: Smitbsonian
Coast (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1990), Fig. 3.
Edward S. Curtis, The North American Indian, Vol. 9, 1913 (New York, Johnson Reprint Corporation: 1970),60.
Adney and Chapelle Ibid.
1964, 158 ff.
" James Deetz, In Small Things Forgotten: The Archaeology of Early American Life (New York, Ancbor Books, 1977).
1988), Fig. 192.
, Iarrno Kankaapaa, Kajakki. TypologisEtnohistoriallinen Tutkielmal'The Kayak. A Study in Typology and Ethnohistory (Helsinki: Helsingin yliopiston kansatieteen laitoksen tutkimuksia 15, 1989), 112-114. Aron L. Crowell, Amy F. Steffian, and Gordon L. Pullar, Looking Both Ways: Heritage and Identity of the Alutiiq People (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2001),
147 Edward William Nelson, The Eskimo About Bering Strait-18" Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1896-97, Part 1 (Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1899),444-445.
John D. Heath, The King Island Kayak, eds. E.Y. Arima, John D. Heath, Guy MarieRousseliere, Kenneth I. Taylor, William S. Laughlin, Knut Bergsland, John Brand, Joseph Lubischer,George Dyson and Gert Nooter. Contributions to Kayak Studies. Canadian Ethnology Service, Mercury Series paper 122 (Quebec: Canadian Museum of Civilization. Hull), 1-38, Fig. 21.
, Edwin Tappan Adney and Howard I. Chapelle, The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America, U.S. National Museum Bulletin 230 (Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1964), Fig. 182.
Ibid, Fig. 179. 1991,7.
Ibid, 7, Fig. 9. 1899,297.
Richard K. Nelson, Hunters of the Northern Ice (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969), 157,288.
1899, Plate LXXVII, LXXVIII.
Ibid, 217. Ibid, 445.
Franz Boas, Kwakiutl Ethnography (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966), 21.
IB 19 Wayne Suttles, Introduction, Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 7: Northwest