MP-0000.596.3 | Inuit group in umiak, in the spring, 1920-1929

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Inuit group in umiak, in the spring, 1920-1929
Robert J. Flaherty
1920-1929, 20th century
Photogravure on paper
50.3 x 33.6 cm
From M. Serge Vaisman
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  boat (1192) , Print (10661) , Transportation (2517)
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Keys to History

The open skin boat called an umiaq is sometimes referred to as a family boat because it was used to transport women and children, along with all their household equipment and their dogs, while the men followed in their qajaqs. It took six or seven bearded sealskins to cover an umiaq, which was about 9 to 10 metres, and only the most prosperous and successful households were able to acquire the resources to build one. Families with an umiaq could travel greater distances to take advantage of the seasonal migrations of various animals. For example, they could take their entire family inland by river in search of caribou or move to one of the offshore islands where walrus were plentiful.

  • What

    This photograph shows a group of Inuit and their belongings travelling in an umiaq.

  • Where

    This photograph was taken on the coast of Nunavik.

  • When

    The photograph was taken about 1920.

  • Who

    The photographer was Robert J. Flaherty.