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Juneau-based qayaq (kayak) maker Lou Logan will construct an open-sea qayaq at the Alaska State Museum this summer. Logan is making his first skin-on-frame qayaq in the tradition of his Iñupiaq ancestors from Wales, Alaska. His journey to making kayaks began in 2014 while working as a photographer at the museum. The kayaks he saw there inspired him to research Iñupiaq qayat as a way to expand his knowledge about his heritage. Logan’s grandmother was from Kingigin (Wales), Alaska, one of the oldest communities in the Bering Strait region.

A qayaq frame from King Island is on display in the gallery where Logan will be working. Logan is studying this frame while constructing his own qayaq using anthropometric measurements. This proven system, based on measurements and proportions of the human body, allows for a custom fit made specifically for the paddler.

Logan does not have a set schedule, but you can see the progression of his qayaq throughout the summer. In the fall, he will give a talk about his process and research on the Southern Iñupiaq qayaq.

Image: Lou Logan. Photo by Molly Briggs.

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