The kayak is the tool. The tool that built the Arctic civilization. What is seen today as a recreational craft was used once for survival.
The kayak also spelled qaiaq is a light water craft, long and narrow sporting one or more seats. A deck covers the whole length of the boat, and the occupant(s) sits in an opening named cockpit or paaq (Inuit language). The word qaiaq can liberally be translated as the “hunter’s boat”, or the “man’s boat”. It originated in Greenland, northern Canada, Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, spawning a multitude of shapes, sizes and purposes. But all of them have something in common: the way they are built. The boats are created around a wooden or animal bones frame covered in animal skin and waterproofed with animal fat. Their simple construction does not involve great handcrafting skills, specialized tools, glue or nails. All of them are highly personalized, each builder building his own kayak according to the purpose the boat was to be used for and his own anthropomorphic measures. Basically there was never such thing as a serial built traditional kayak. Nowadays we use modern materials such as canvas or nylon for the skin, but using the same building method preserved in history.