The Last Baidarka of Prince William Sound

The Last Baidarka of Prince William Sound (Full Movie)

Alaskan kayak builder Mitch Poling spent part of his childhood in Chenega, Alaska, a small village where the traditional seal-skin covered kayak (known by the Russian term baidarka) was still being used for hunting and travel. The art of skin-on-frame kayak construction in Alaska was almost completely lost, as new technology was introduced and fishermen turned to using outboard motors and plywood boats. In 1964, a tsunami wiped out the village of Chenega and destroyed the remaining baidarkas. Fortunately, one kayak was left intact, safely stored in a museum in Cordova. Using this remaining specimen, Mitch was able to revive the practice of traditional skin-on-frame kayak construction in Prince William Sound.


Interviewer: Richard Lovering 
Art Direction: Katya Palladina
Animation: Andrew Elizaga
Videography and Editing by Katya Palladina and Andrew Elizaga

Music, Courtesy of
“Mysterious” by Alex Plowright
“Just a Thought” by Tired Tape Machine
“Gliding” by Alex Plowright

Stock Footage:
“Moving North”, Prelinger Archives
“Northern Rampart”, Prelinger Archives
“Alaskan Adventures”, Prelinger Archives
“New World Through Chemistry”, Prelinger Archives
“Silicones”, Prelinger Archives
“Chenega”, Courtesy of the Alaska Film Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Still Images:
Courtesy of Mitch Poling and The John M. Poling Trust and
The Alaska State Library Digital Archive.

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