Smithsonian Voices

From the Smithsonian Museums

Members of the staff of the National Museum of the American Indian in New York hold a welcoming ceremony for a kayak frame built in the traditional Yup'ik way at the Qayanek Qayak Preservation Center in Kwigillingok, Alaska. A testament to the ingenuity and innovation of the Native cultures of the Arctic, the kayak frame will become a teaching exhibit when the New York museum's imagiNATIONS Activity Center opens this May. (National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian)

Long journey: A traditional kayak frame comes to New York

In May 2018, when the museum in New York opens its new imagiNATIONS Activity Center (iAC), one highlight will be a traditional Yup’ik kayak frame—15 feet of historically correct white spruce driftwood—made at the Qayanek Qayak Preservation Center in Kwigillingok, Alaska. The New York iAC will offer young museum-goers hands-on experiences that make vivid the origins and outcomes of Native innovation, including the genius of kayak-building.