Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

miniature kayak with figure and knife
  • unknown Kalaallit (Greenland Inuit) maker
  • miniature kayak with figure and knife, late 1800s
  • Where object was made: Greenland
  • wood, sealskin?, ivory, bone, cloth, string, ink, carving
  • Object Height/Width/Length: a 10 x 11.5 x 121 cm
    Object Height/Width/Length: a 3 7/8 x 4 1/2 x 47 5/8 in
    Object Height/Width/Depth: b 15.5 x 34 x 9 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: b 6 1/8 x 13 3/8 x 3 1/2 in
    Object Length/Width: c 9.5 x 1.5 cm
    Object Length/Width: c 3 3/4 x 9/16 in
  • Gift of Lewis Lindsay Dyche
  • Not on display
  • 2007.6079.a,b,c

The kayak (2007.6079.a) has a person sitting inside (2007.6079.b) and a knife (2007.6079.c).

The kayak is sealskin stretched over a wooden frame. It is brown. It has a hole in the center. There are strips in front of and behind the opening that have small ivory pieces, mostly rectangular but one is bird shaped. The ivory tip from one end of the boat is currently broken off. There is a bone guard on the underside of each end.

The figure is intended to sit into the opening of the kayak. It is soft bodied with cloth arms and a head. The face is drawn on. The arms are wrapped around a wooden paddle with a blade on either end. Each blade has bone guards. The figure is wearing a sealskin garment on his torso.

The ivory knife is flat with a notch at one end and a handle at the other end.