American Indian language * Indian people * Tribal genealogy

Baidara (Baidaras)

"Baidara" is an alternate name for baidarka, the traditional kayaks of the Aleut tribe. Baidara is a Russian word for skin boats, and actually originally referred to the larger, walrus-hide boats of indigenous Siberian tribes such as the Koryak and Chukchi. When the Russians colonized Alaska, they brought Siberian words for hide boats along with them. Since Aleut kayaks are smaller and lighter than Siberian baidaras, the Russian settlers soon took to calling them "baidarkas," merging the Siberian word "baidara" with the diminutive Russian "-ka" ending. Baidarka is the form of this word most commonly used in Alaska today, although the name for this kind of boat in the Aleuts' own language is iqyax.

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Here are links to our webpages about the Aleut tribe and language:

 Aleut language
 The Aleut tribe
 Aleutian people
 Aleut language words
 Aleut orthography
 Eskimo-Aleut language group
 Native people of Alaska

Here are links to more Internet resources about baidaras:
 Aleutian Kayaks
 Cultural Change: Bidarki
 Wikipedia: Baidara
 Native Kayaks

Here are a few good books about the Aleuts:
 Aleut Identities: Tradition and Modernity
 Aleut Dictionary
 Aleut Tales and Narratives



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