Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lineages, Yours or Theirs?

As many of you know, a new kayak manufacturer has appeared in England called 'In-uit Kayaks' From what I gather, the boats being produced by this company have an excellent lineage running from Nigel Dennis boats, to the Rockpool 'Alaw' boats. I suspect the new 'In-uit' line will carry on the fine reputation these earlier designs enjoy.

As I have an interest in the Canadian arctic and the Inuit who live there, some time ago, I wrote to Aled Williams, the man behind this new company asking for some information regarding the company name and the appearance of the syllabic script used on the boats. I have yet to hear from him, but perhaps he'll eventually get around to writing. It would be interesting to know the answers to my several questions. For example, I wondered why the company would chose to use the word 'In-uit' and to borrow (and perhaps copy-right) the inukshuk symbol for a company logo when neither is of English origin (nor Polish, where the boats are made). Surely these belong more properly to another culture which does not seem to have any involvement with the company. As well, my Inuit friends tell me the syllabic scripts used do not seem to make any sense, at least in the Canadian Inuktitut dialects they know. The two words appearing on the prototype read masaitila and pirinatinatijapila, but what do they mean? Why are they written on boats designed in England and built in Poland?

Perhaps I'm being picky. Like many others, I'd like to see this company enjoy success in the kayaking world, but I'm concerned about how they seem to have begun that journey. Surely taking something they don't own to promote that success is not wise.


Silbs said...

Wonderful, Michael. We seem to either forget tradition or walk all over it. are just the man to illuminate this.

Hayden said...

not wise..... and incredibly tacky to boot!

thanks for calling them on it.

suburude said...

Micheal I agree! People do this without thinking they are not using something that is not theres to use. Jim F.