photo

Siberian Yupik Eskimo Skin Boat

eskimos land a skin boat in the ice
Anchorage Museum of History and Art

Skin boats were vital for survival of Arctic sea mammal hunters who had to navigate and hunt amidst sea ice where bark boats would be crushed or punctured, and wooden boats were too heavy to be hauled up on top of ice floes when currents or wind caused the leads to close. In a pinch, a tear or puncture in a skin boat was easily repaired with a piece of your boot, needle, and thread!