[Home]Greenland Style

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A form of Paddling Technique based on that of the Greenland Inuit. Somewhat similar equipment and techniques were developed by the aboriginal Aleut peoples of Alaska and Inuit in the Canadian Arctic.

Typically, the GreenlandKayak is lower-volume and narrower than the "modern" kayak. It facilitates rolling, and a great number of rolling techniques were developed for the kayak's intended use as a tool for seal hunting, mainly to deal with the hazards of entanglement by harpoon line.

Narrower Greenland paddless continue to be used in Greenland today, using wood split from large logs that originated in Siberia, were carried down rivers, circulated by ocean currents and were deposited as driftwood. Greenland hunters of old were extremely choosy about the grain and type of wood used in their paddles. Narrow paddles were not a limitation of available materials and quite large pieces of wood were used in the kayak framework and for wide umiak paddles. The use of driftwood in building paddles was not a shortcoming. Form follows function, and practitioners of the Greenland Style find that the increased buoyancy present in these paddles makes many Paddling Techniques easier.

Kayaking and rolling was not a sport to the Greenland people, but a means of subsistence. The ability to roll under varied and often dangerous circumstances was a matter of life and death.

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Last edited June 6, 2006 10:20 pm by Michael Daly (diff)