Sunday, April 15, 2012

Alutiiq Warrior Kayak Undergoing Conservation

In an unusual "exhibit" that makes conservation work visible to the general public, the Peabody Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology at Harvard University is conserving an important Alutiiq kayak in a public viewing area

The Alutiiq people, also known as the Pacific Yupik, live in coastal southern Alaska. According to the museum's website, the kayak is the only known Alutiiq warrior kayak in America. The kayak has a bifurcated bow characteristic of the Alutiiq. Based on clues from oral history, its human hair detailing and possible construction of bear skin led to its identification as a warrior's craft.

The conservation is being done in a specially prepared gallery space where visitors can observe and discuss the work with the conservators. 

The museum has many other important Alutiiq artifacts, some of which are also undergoing conservation. And the project maintains a Facebook page with frequent updates on its status.

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