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Skin-on-Frame Qayaq at the Alaska State Museum Summer 2024

by LAM Webmaster on 2024-04-16T15:47:00-08:00 in Alaska State Museum, Events | 0 Comments

Lou Logan in qayakJuneau-based qayaq (kayak) maker Lou Logan will construct an open-sea qayaq at the Alaska State Museum this summer. Logan is making his first skin-on-frame qayaq in the tradition of his Iñupiaq ancestors from Wales, Alaska. His journey to making kayaks began in 2014 while working as a photographer at the museum. The kayaks he saw there inspired him to research Iñupiaq qayat as a way to expand his knowledge about his heritage. Logan’s grandmother was from Kingigin (Wales), Alaska, one of the oldest communities in the Bering Strait region.

There are fewer resources for Iñupiaq qayat compared to some other types. The techniques learned over generations were passed down in oral tradition. This knowledge was almost entirely lost due to cultural loss and assimilation. The qayaq itself is now the teacher.

— Logan, Juneau Empire

A qayaq frame from King Island is on display in the gallery where Logan will be working. Logan is studying this frame while constructing his own qayaq using anthropometric measurements. This proven system, based on measurements and proportions of the human body, allows for a custom fit made specifically for the paddler.

Logan does not have a set schedule, but you can see the progression of his qayaq throughout the summer. In the fall, he will give a talk about his process and research on the Southern Iñupiaq qayaq.

King Island qayaq frame

The Alaska State Museum hosts a spectacular permanent collection as well as temporary exhibitions. For museum hours, rates, and more information, visit Contact the museum at (907) 465-2901.

A person experiencing a disability who needs accommodation for events hosted by the Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum can contact the division’s ADA coordinator at (907) 465-2912. Please contact us a week in advance so we can make any necessary arrangements.

For more information:
Amy Phillips-Chan, PhD
Director, Alaska Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums

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