Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge


Boat (model)

angyaq “boat”
Language: Central Yup'ik

My first memory of boat rides was in these things. Wani nangengqaurelua. (I would stand right here.) Ayagaqamta waten tengenguarlua. (When we moved I would pretend to fly.)

—Joan Hamilton, 2002

Paddles were used to propel a Yup’ik angyaq, or large skin boat, along with oars that were adopted after European contact; on this model both are shown. The boats had sails, in ancient times made of grass matting or skins and after contact sewn from trade cloth. Men built an angyaq‘s driftwood frame and lashed it together with seal thong; women sewed the seal or walrus hide cover and stretched it on the frame so that when dry it became drum-tight. People traveled, fished, and hunted in the boats, which once plied the Bering Sea and rivers of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

Culture: Yup’ik
Region: Norton Sound, Alaska
Village: St. Michael
Object Category: Boats
Dimensions: Length 119cm
Accession Date: 1879
Source: Edward W. Nelson (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E038882