Yes, the world is new again. The ckayaker club begins its new blog today! So enjoy.
Here is our first offering...
They’ve no brains, they’re nuts, anyway you put it old Tomasi had no idea why a person would want a kayak just to put in a building for people to look at. They didn’t even ask him to put a cover on. “Just the frame will be fine...”
Tomasi was inumariq, an elder in an Inuit village in northern Quebec, Nunavik. He was one of only a few who knew how to build a qajaq in the old way, carefully carved and lashed together with caribou sinew. In his youth, he was the one send inside the polar bear den to wake up the the bear so the others could kill it on its way out the tunnel entrance. I used to sit with him as he worked in the little room in the back of the fire-truck hut and try to understand his stories of the old days when magic was all around us. Long and narrow, running along the back of the building, the room’s best feature was the row of windows which ran the width of the building. The sunlight - when there was sunlight - would stream in setting the floor of yellow shavings all aglow. Outside, the windows looked over the bay where some white whales during late summer the year before. Now it was spring. The snow was starting to look old and dirty on the frozen sea ice. Inside, even without heat, the room as always warm and welcoming. Perhaps it was Tomasi’s old ways and laughing eyes that made it that way.
In any event, it was in this place that Tomasi made his last qajaq which, when it was done would travel south to a museum, farther away than any boat he had ever made before. It would be put in a book by E.Y. Arima. (Arima 1987, p226). People would come to the museum and whenever it got to be displayed, they would stare at it and wonder. Some would think of the people who used to live by qajait like these and depend on them or perhaps die in them. Some just thought about supper. Then they would get in their cars and trucks and head home to their real lives, working, studying, raising kids, being busy, busy busy.
...to be continued