Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

miniature kayak
  • unknown Kalaallit (Greenland Inuit) maker
  • miniature kayak, mid 1800s–1895
  • Where object was made: Greenland
  • wood, sealskin, ivory, sinew, cloth
  • Object Height/Width/Length: 15 x 34 x 95 cm
    Object Height/Width/Length: 5 7/8 x 13 3/8 x 37 3/8 in
  • Gift of Lewis Lindsay Dyche
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0558
Label Text

This miniature kayak has a person, sealskin float, paddle, lance, harpoon, and spear.

The kayak is made from sealskin stretched over a wooden frame with an ivory knob at either end. There are small bands of sinew wrapped around the boat in front of and behind the seat. There are small ivory pieces on each band. The sinew bands directly in front of the seat secure an ivory knife. The sinew band at the rear of the boat secures the lance, harpoon, and spear.

The figure seated in the kayak has a seal skin wrapping over most of the torso, and a white cloth parka. The face is also white cloth with features drawn in ink. He is holding a paddle with two blades, each end with ivory pieces. A miniature sealskin float is strapped to the front of the kayak.